The normally bustling beaches of Huntington Beach, which welcome tourists with a “Surf City USA” sign, sat empty on Monday.
And a little further south, teams in white hazmat suits work to protect the delicate wetland ecosystem near the mouth of the Santa Ana River—a vital habitat for migratory birds that are wrapped in shimmering oil ribbons.
The breach, widely reported on Saturday, occurred about five miles from Huntington Beach in Orange County, equivalent to an estimated 3,000 barrels – or 126,000 gallons – of post-production crude, local officials said.
And while the reason is being probed, questions are also being raised about the timeline of the notification.
According to documents reviewed by Granthshala, California officials were notified of reports of an oil sheen at the site of the pipeline spill, more than 12 hours before the line’s operator, Amplify Energy Corp., told state and federal officials. It was informed. .
But in an interview with Granthshala on Monday, Amplify CEO Martin Wilser said company personnel detected a flare on Friday night, not Saturday morning. Wilser said there are equipment to detect the leak without looking at the oil spill, but there were no reports of a possible leak in the line before Saturday.
Captain Rebecca Ore, commanding officer for the US Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach, said the spill, which stretches from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach, is likely to move south based on wind and currents.
Ore said on Monday that efforts to respond to the spill had doubled since Sunday afternoon.
“It has devastated our California coast in Orange County, and it is having a tremendous impact on our ecological preservation as well as our economics,” Foley told Granthshala. “We need answers and the public deserves answers.”
Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) director Michael Zicardi said at a news conference on Monday that it was unknown how many animals were killed in the spill.
“I had serious concerns about this effect,” he said. However, a preliminary assessment suggests that the number of birds that were feared was small.
So far, the OWCN has caught four birds, including a pelican, which had to be euthanized, he said.
“As California continues to lead the nation in phasing out fossil fuels and combating the climate crisis, this event serves as a reminder of the huge cost fossil fuels are taking on our communities,” Newsom said Monday. “Destructive offshore drilling practices sacrifice our public health, the economy and our environment.”
The reason for the leak is not yet known. Wilser said on Monday the company had isolated a specific location along the pipeline that could be responsible.
“We are still doing assessments to try and locate the source,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Eric Laughlin said at a news conference on Sunday. “It doesn’t look like there’s any further fuel leaking, but we’re still working on identifying it.”
Coast Guard Captain Ore said officials are investigating whether oil may have leaked from the ship’s anchorage.
“These ships are anchored and awaiting entry into several San Pedro Bay port complexes – the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – and during transit it is likely that they will transit on a pipeline,” Ore said on Monday. said .
The agency told Granthshala that the Federal Bureau of Security and Environmental Enforcement was assisting with the Coast Guard-led response to the oil spill. Its role was to assist in “identifying the location and source of any spill and providing technical assistance to the Integrated Command in preventing spillage”, it said in a statement on Sunday.
Granthshala’s Joe Sutton, Susannah Cullinan, Eric Levenson, Amir Vera, Alta Spell, Stella Chan, Claudia Dominguez, Chris Isidore, Cheri Mossberg and Sonnet Swier contributed to this report.
Credit : www.cnn.com