Officials investigating one of California’s largest oil spills were trying to determine if an underwater pipeline that dumped 572,807 liters (126,000 gallons) of heavy crude into the Pacific Ocean was damaged by a ship’s anchor was or not.
According to their websites, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the two busiest container ports in the United States. Together, they see over 100 cargo ships a day, and those ships pass and anchor through the area where the pipeline runs.
Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Jenny Shay said: “We’re investigating whether it could have been a shipwreck, but it’s still in the assessment stage.”
Meanwhile, residents of Huntington Beach, California, said officials were slow to react to a major oil spill off the coast.
The spill, which has contaminated beaches and poses a threat to wildlife, is believed to have come from a leak in an underwater pipeline.
Residents said they noticed the smell of oil and petroleum on Friday evening, but there was no reaction till Saturday afternoon. He said it was not until Saturday night that the oil company Amplify Energy Corp, the owner of the pipeline, shut it down.
In a press release on Monday, Amplify Energy said it noticed the oil spill on Saturday and immediately notified the US Coast Guard and began its oil spill response. The company closed the pipeline and sent a remotely operated vehicle to help find the source.
Gary Brown, president of the environmental group Orange County Coastkeepers and a Huntington Beach resident, said, “By the time the (oil) gets on the beach, a lot of damage has already been done. Our disappointment is that if there was any it could have been avoided.” Was. Quick response.”
More than 572,000 liters of crude oil have reportedly leaked, some of which are washing up in coastal Orange County. According to Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr, many beaches in the area are closed and could remain in place for weeks or months.
In response to the spill, crews led by the US Coast Guard have deployed skimmers and booms to try to contain the damage. Of particular concern is the Talbert Marsh, a 10-hectare wetland.
U.S. Representative Michelle Steele, a Republican representing the affected area, has asked President Joe Biden to declare the spill a disaster so that federal funds can be allocated for cleanup.
“It’s a really serious disaster,” she told CNN.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded Monday to a reporter’s question about the leak.
“We are working closely with state and local partners to address leak detection, prevent spills, and assess the impact and address potential causes.”
Amplify Energy operates the pipeline and three offshore oil platforms, all of which were installed in the early 1980s. A 16-inch pipeline carries crude oil to a storage facility in Long Beach.
Beta Operating Company, the Amplify subsidiary operating the field, has been cited 125 times since 1980 for safety and environmental violations, according to a database from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the federal agency that controls the offshore oil and gas industry. , The Associated Press reported.
Some of the information in this report comes from The Associated Press and Reuters.