'Massive oil spill off California coast a potential ecological disaster'

04-10-2021 Mon 13:17 IST | IANS | International

Los Angeles, Oct 4 : A massive oil spill off the Orange County coast in Southern California has prompted the closure of a 9-km long beachfront area.

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley told local KTLA news channel on Sunday that the incident was first reported a day earlier and oil was still leaking about 8.05 km off the coast of Huntington Beach from the broken pipeline, reports Xinhua news agency.

"It's still leaking and the responsible party for this is underway right now trying to repair the leak from the pipeline," Foley said, referring to the platform Elly, a facility sitting in federal waters off the Los Angeles County coast and processing crude oil production from two other platforms.

All these platforms are located on top of a large reservoir of crude oil known as the Beta Field, which sits in waters overseen by the US Department of the Interior.

The spill, equal to about 126,000 gallons of post-production crude, is a "potential ecological disaster", Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr told CNN .

The US Coast Guard (USCG) said in a statement that a unified command, consisting of Beta Offshore, the Coast Guard, and Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) from CDFW, had been established to respond to the incident.

"Members of the public are asked to avoid any oiled areas. Trained spill response contractors are working to clean up oil. Public volunteers are not needed and could hinder response efforts. We request that members of the public stay away from the area," the statement said, adding that the cause of the spill, volume and type of oil are under investigation.

The oil slick was "reported to be approximately 33.7 sq.km in size, about 4.82 km off Newport Beach", the USCG said in an earlier twitter.

Local authorities urged people to avoid the beach areas around Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, saying "the spill has significantly affected Huntington Beach, with substantial ecological impacts occurring at the beach and at the Huntington Beach Wetlands".

By Sunday morning, "we've started to find dead birds & fish washing up on the shore", Foley tweeted.

Debbie McGuire, executive director of the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, was quoted by the local newspaper Orange County Register that staff in the centre had prepared masks, goggles and IV fluids to stabilise the animals affected by the oil spill.

McGuire said the first batch of wounded birds were sent to the centre on Sunday noon, including three pelicans, a ruddy duck and a surf scoter.

The oil spill also prompted the cancellation of the final day of the Great Pacific Airshow. The 5th annual air show began Friday morning at the Huntington Beach Pier and drew about 1.5 million visitors to the beach on Saturday. The event was scheduled to run through Sunday afternoon.

The last major oil spill hit the Southern California area was 30 years ago.

In 1990, the American Trader oil tanker spilled 417,000 gallons of crude, killing fish and approximately 3,400 birds and polluting popular beaches along the Orange County coast.

California has been taking a tough stand to protect its coast from the offshore oil and gas development since 1994 when the state legislature passed the California Coastal Sanctuary Act.

It prohibits the state from entering into any new leases within state tidelands.

In 2017, the California Senate passed a resolution opposing new oil or gas drilling in federal waters located offshore.


More News
Russian film crew wraps shooting in space, returns to Earth
17 minutes ago
New wearable device uses sweat to monitor glucose levels
20 minutes ago
MAA president Manchu Vishnu's overenthusiastic tweet goes viral
38 minutes ago
Sasikala inaugurates AIADMK golden jubilee celebrations, calls for unity
1 hour ago
Bill, Melinda Gates walk daughter down the aisle
1 hour ago
Jaishankar arrives in Israel for 3-day visit
1 hour ago
John Cena gets into action in just his underwear in 'Peacemaker' trailer
1 hour ago
BCCI invites applications for Team India head coach's job
1 hour ago
'Bheemla Nayak' composer Thaman felicitates folk singer Mogulaiah
1 hour ago
Slip disc, sciatica can be treated with minimal invasive technique
1 hour ago
Telugu hit 'Love Story' to premiere on AHA OTT soon
2 hours ago
Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival in Hyderabad from October 21
2 hours ago
Win the T20 World Cup for Virat Kohli: Suresh Raina
3 hours ago
What made Delta, Delta Plus variants of Covid more virulent
3 hours ago
Decorate your home on a budget in time for the holidays
3 hours ago
Markets in euphoria, corrections are imminent
4 hours ago
Sitharaman's marathon meeting sessions with US businesses continues in NY
4 hours ago
If ISI chief is replaced Imran's govt will fall like a house of cards: Maryam Nawaz
4 hours ago
'Sarkaru Vaari Paata' poster reveals Keerthy Suresh in a sleek avatar
4 hours ago
US lawmakers protest more intensely than Indians over Amazon's rigging in India: CAIT
4 hours ago
I-T searches on groups engaged in business of Digital Marketing & Waste Management
4 hours ago
Terror vs Terror: ISIS-K using Taliban's own killing tools to step up the heat
5 hours ago
All you need to know about India's power crisis
5 hours ago
Sai Dharam Tej's recovery and his wedding news go hand-in-hand
5 hours ago
Does Chiranjeevi dislike appearing on OTT platforms?
6 hours ago
B-Town: Female stars venture into funding
7 hours ago
Spy's Eye: The pillars of nationhood
8 hours ago
'Dashrath' dies on stage, audience claps for 'great' act
8 hours ago
Protest announced against attacks on Hindu temples in Bangladesh
9 hours ago
Superstar Vijay's possible entry into TN politics keenly watched
9 hours ago