First report of oil spill in California

Texas News Today

Huntington Beach, Calif. – The Coast Guard received several reports of a potential fuel spill off the Southern California coast, which had been previously undetected and about 15 hours before local officials confirmed a major oil shortage caused by the spill in a submarine pipeline. I requested that you do. ..

According to a note from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office provided to the Associated Press on Wednesday, the first reports of a potential leak north of Huntington Beach Wharf arrived at the Coast Guard on October 1 at 5:30 p.m. Rice field. According to the document, several similar calls had come from a boat leaving the Huntington Beach Air Show via a maritime radio emergency channel.

According to a memo obtained through the California Public Records Act, the county’s port patrol department was contacted by the Coast Guard and a fireboat was dispatched to look for the spill, but the crew was in sight as it was dark. Lost. The leak was not confirmed till around 9 am on Saturday.


A memorandum sent to Harbormaster and Sheriff Captain Gary Ruvelin on 3 October closed some major beaches and fisheries in the area and was the first Coast Guard to tackle the outbreak threatening flora and fauna. I’ll take additional questions about the response.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Jinny Shay confirmed on Thursday that she had received several calls to an emergency channel, but her agency was unaware that a fireboat would go out to investigate the spill on Friday. where did it go. At about 6:30, she contacted a moored commercial vessel that the Coast Guard had reported of a possible leak, reported to the National Response Center where the Coast Guard was located, and was on board to inform other agencies. He said he asked the staff. Quick response to an emergency.

About 30 minutes later, the Coast Guard began working with state and local agencies to assess the situation, Shay said. By that time, it was dark and they decided not to go out due to safety and visibility concerns, she said.


Mr Shay said Coast Guard officials went out Saturday morning to confirm the water leak.

The sheriff’s department did not immediately return calls for comment on the memo and the agency’s talks with the Coast Guard after the initial report.

Miyoko Sakashita, an attorney at the Center for Biodiversity, said the Coast Guard should have been more proactive after receiving the initial report.

“The investigation should be done immediately, which could have significantly reduced the scale of the spill,” said Sakashita, who asked the federal government to stop offshore oil drilling. Rice field. “You should be able to triangulate that some of these reports need immediate investigation.”

Before the release of the Sheriff’s Department memorandum, first word of the potential spillage arrived at the Coast Guard on October 1 at 6:13 p.m. from a foreign commercial vessel off Huntington Beach. was considered. The ship reported a glow on the surface of the water more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) long.


However, according to a report compiled by the California Department of Emergency Services, the report was called to the National Response Center by Colonial Compliance Systems, which reports the leak in collaboration with foreign ships in US waters as of 8:22 p.m. ..

Coast Guard officials gave conflicting explanations about what happened on October 1.

Major General Brian Penoir told the AP on October 5, after receiving a report from the ship that the Coast Guard did not have enough evidence to seek the spill and was blindly obstructed. He said the Coast Guard circulated several cargo and tanker ships with oil spills in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, seeking more information, but received no response. ..

The Commander of the Integrated Response, Coast Guard Captain Rebecca Ole, later said that there had been no such transmission. She and other Coast Guard officials said they needed to investigate what was happening at the time, but repeatedly declined to answer questions about what should have been broadcast.


Cotty Petrie Norris, chairman of the state legislative committee investigating the spill, said the spill, said to have been reported late Friday, was too dark to detect.

“In the world we’re trying to send people to Mars, it doesn’t seem like being able to observe potential oil slicks in the dark,” she said.

At around 7:40 a.m. on Saturday, October 2, the Coast Guard again turned to the Harbor Patrol for help. The memo said a Coast Guard dangerous goods investigator went to a county fireboat and found a one-mile-long black feather a few miles away.

Ultimately, the leak was caused by a pipeline owned and operated by Houston-based Amplify Energy. Line ferry oil from the company’s three offshore platforms. Checking for Amplify pipe maintenance and whether it responds fast enough to spills.

Meanwhile, federal investigators have determined whether the Panama-registered MSC DANIT, a 1,200-foot (366-metre) container ship, pulled to the ocean floor by hooking up a pipeline, dragging an anchor during a January 25 storm. Had been. Checking it out. It is unknown why the leak occurred eight months later.


Officials are also investigating whether other anchors collided with the pipeline and weakened it, or it was due to the current condition of the line.

The Coast Guard has said about 25,000 gallons (94,635 liters) of oil have been spilled. Masses of oil and tarballs washed ashore, beaches were closed for a week, the local economy was severely disrupted, and dozens of birds were killed. Environmental advocates say the damage was less than initially feared, but the long-term effects on wetlands and marine life are unknown.

Pete Stauffer, environmental director of the Surf Rider Foundation, which serves as a liaison between non-governmental agencies and joint forces in response to the spill, said a quick response to the spill is the key to limiting the damage. where did it go.

“If there are reports of significant oil spills in the ocean, it’s important to investigate,” says Stauffer. “What happens in the first hours and days after an oil spill is absolutely critical.”


A group of environmental groups demanded on Wednesday that the Biden administration suspend and cancel the oil and gas lease in federal waters of California.

The Center for Biodiversity and about 30 organizations have petitioned the Interior Ministry to end these leases, claiming that decades ago the platform was particularly vulnerable to problems because of its age. .. The agency declined to comment.


Mary reported from Los Angeles.

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