More than 87 miles of oil-stained California beaches have been cleaned since last month’s pipeline rupture off the Santa Barbara coast, according to the Refugio response team.
What’s the Problem?
June 22, 2015 – A unified command responding to the May 19 oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast said more than 90% of the sullied shorelines have been adequately cleaned.
“Of the 96.5 miles of shoreline surveyed in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, 91 percent have met cleanup goals,” the command said in its latest operational update. “Clean areas will continue to be monitored for re-oiling which may occur, especially with the natural oil seeps in the area.”
Line 901, a pipeline operated by Texas-based Plains All American, leaked up to 101,000 gallons of oil including an estimated 21,000 gallons that washed into a storm drain and flowed out to sea. About 500 barrels may have reached waters off the coast of Refugio State Beach, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The spill is the worst the area has seen since 1969.
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said it found “extensive” corrosion on the pipe that ruptured, with walls eroded by up to 74% of their original thickness in certain spots.
Sheen has dissipated from the Santa Barbara coast, and the amount of recovered oil-water mixture linked to the spill has not increased over the last week. The amount of oil-stained vegetation, sand and soil has seen minor increases during the same time period.
To date, at least 190 dead birds have been recovered and 103 marine mammals have been found dead.
“Cleanup continues on other parts of the shoreline, especially cobble and rock areas which require hand crews, and in the excavation area in the vicinity of the initial release,” the response team said.