UPDATED 7:39 PM PT – Monday, October 4, 2021
Authorities in California are now looking into the possibility of a ship’s anchor causing the massive oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach. On Monday, an official from the U.S. Coast Guard suggested several ships have been awaiting entry into Los Angeles and Long Beach ports as one could have struck the pipeline when casting anchor.
The spill off the Southern California coast has caused serious ecological impacts as a a major disaster declaration was requested for Orange County. Leaking around 3,000 barrels of crude oil or an estimated 126,000 gallons into the water, officials said the spill occurred after a pipe leak from an oil platform.
The oil slick was spotted over the weekend reaching the communities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach as well as local marshes. Officials said cleaning up the spill is considered a high priority and are working to lessen any environmental impact.
“We’re working with the Coast Guard, the state, the county and all of our local conservancies to do everything possible to assess the situation,” stated Kim Carr, Mayor pro tempore for Huntington Beach.
In partnership with federal, regional, & local response entities, clean-up efforts are underway on an approx. 6 mile oil spill along our coast. Responsible party, Amplify Energy Corp, to assist with clean-up.
— City of Huntington Beach (@CityofHBPIO) October 4, 2021
Multiple beaches in the region have been closed or partially closed due to dead fish and birds washing up the coast as well as harmful fumes health officials say can be dangerous if inhaled.
“At this time I strongly recommend due to the possible injury from vapors fumes that people please do not swim, surf or use the beach for exercise,” cautioned Dr. Clayton Chau, an Orange County health official.
Officials said they will issue a public health order to warn those in beach towns about the potentially hazardous oils forming clusters ashore. Orange County locals were upset after the last day of the Pacific Air Show was cancelled in order for Marines to be able to begin clean up efforts. Approximately 1.5 million showed up for the event Saturday.
Barriers and booms were deployed to help prevent the inflow of oil into nearby ecological reserves and Huntington Beach wetlands. The offshore pipeline was shut down and is no longer leaking as the U.S. Coast Guard stresses officials are working to assess the spill.
Here’s what we know:
– Beta Offshore is responsible for the spill and is working with the Incident Management Team.
– Our ocean and shore are closed FROM SEAPOINT TO THE SANTA ANA RIVER.
– The City has deployed over 2,000 feet of protective booms at 7 wetland locations. pic.twitter.com/F2r5TTYAJ8
— City of Huntington Beach (@CityofHBPIO) October 3, 2021