Posted by: The ocean update | May 21, 2015

State Of Emergency After California Oil Spill (USA)

An estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil dumped into the ocean from a broken pipeline Tuesday in California

An estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil dumped into the ocean from a broken pipeline Tuesday in California

May 21st, 2015. Beaches along the California coast line are shut over the Memorial Weekend as teams try to rescue wildlife caught in the spill.

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency as it emerges a coastal oil spill is five times worse than originally estimated.

The decision, made on Wednesday night, will free up emergency state funding and resources to help the clean-up around Santa Barbara County.

Pipeline owner Plains All American Pipeline is now saying as many as 105,000 gallons of oil was released in Tuesday’s rupture, a fifth of it into the ocean.

The firm had said the initial “worst-case scenario” was that 21,000 gallons had spilled.

The oil firm’s boss, Greg L Armstrong, has said he deeply regrets the incident.

Santa Barbara and state prosecutors said they would investigate the spill for any potential criminal prosecutions or civil liabilities.

The spillage has spawned two oil slicks spanning nine miles.

More than 7,700 gallons of crude have so far been gathered by crews working round the clock.

Some 300 people have been raking and shovelling the residue from beaches.

Nine vessels are plying the ocean, six to contain the slick with booms and three others skimming oil from the surface.

When the leak was detected on Tuesday, oil was flowing through the pipe at 84,000 gallons an hour.

It took three hours to shut down, with the crude flowing down a storm drain into the ocean, though it was unclear how long it had been leaking when the rupture was discovered.

Federal regulators from the Department of Transportation have been examining the cause of the leak, the condition of the pipe and whether there have been any regulatory violations.

The 24-inch pipe was built in 1991, had no previous problems and was inspected in 2012, according to Plains All American Pipeline.

The pipe underwent similar tests around two weeks ago.

Wildlife teams have been at the scene trying to rescue sea birds, marine mammals and animals caught up in the spill.

There are concerns for the many species of whale which migrate through the area.

Authorities were alerted to the spill when residents complained of a foul smell.

Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach, both popular campgrounds, have been shut over the Memorial Day weekend.

The same stretch of coast was hit by an oil spill in 1969 (link), which helped create the US environmental movement.

The broken pipe created a spill stretching about four miles off the central coast along a public beach

The broken pipe created a spill stretching about four miles off the central coast along a public beach

Source

Advertisements

Categories

%d bloggers like this: