Authorities are identifying the source of the oil spill in Huntington Beach

One day after an oil slick was discovered off Huntington Beach, authorities believed they had identified and contained the source: a leak from the damaged area of ​​a pipeline that burst in October, spilling an estimated 25,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean.

Around. At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, divers hired by a joint command established in response to the October 2 spill prepared for a routine inspection of the damaged pipeline when they spotted the oil glare on the water, said Eric Laughlin, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. .

The gloss covered an area of ​​about 30 feet by 70 feet. Underwater, divers noticed small droplets of oil near the damaged part of the pipeline, which since the spill has been wrapped in a material called Syntho-Glass, Laughlin said. The divers removed the wrap and replaced it with a new one, he said Sunday.

The pipeline has been shut down and no oil has flowed through it since the October 2 spill, Laughlin said. The oil discovered underwater Saturday was “probably residual,” he said.

It appears the new packaging has prevented further leaks, Laughlin said. U.S. Coast Guard and Fish and Wildlife officials flew over the site in a helicopter just before sunset Saturday and again Sunday morning and saw no glare on the water, leading them to believe the glare disappeared by itself, Laughlin said. Divers have not noticed any further drops of oil underwater, he added.

Fish and wildlife officials have not received any reports of wildlife affected by the glare, Laughlin said. The agency and others that make up the United Command – the U.S. Coast Guard; Amplify Energy, the company that operated the pipeline; and representatives of various local governments – plans to continue monitoring the area for new oil observations.

“The reaction has never stopped since October 2,” Laughlin said.

Non-commissioned officer Hunter Schnabel, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, said only that the Coast Guard was investigating reports of an oil spill off Huntington Beach.

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said Saturday that repeated problems with oil spills in the waters off Huntington Beach damaged the city’s reputation as a tourist destination.

“We just can not keep having these [types]of incidents or scares off our coastline, ”said Foley, urging to stop offshore drilling.

Federal authorities investigating the spill on Oct. 2 are pursuing the theory that a cargo ship may have towed an anchor across the pipeline, which eventually caused it to burst. Last week, Coast Guard officers boarded a ship in Long Beach, designating its owners as “stakeholders” in their investigation into the spill. Braden Rostad, the Coast Guard’s Chief of Investigation for Los Angeles and Long Beach, said the container ship, Beijing, was involved in an incident with anchor towing in January.

Beijing is the second ship to be investigated by authorities investigating the oil spill. Authorities have previously said another cargo ship, MSC Danit, was involved in an anchor haul incident that may have damaged the pipeline, which ran from an oil rig to the Long Beach harbor.

Times staff writers Joe Mozingo and Richard Winton contributed to this report.

Give a Comment