A massive 126,000 gallon oil spill has dumped post-production crude off the coast of Southern California. The City of Huntington Beach said the spill measures approximately 5.8 nautical miles stretching from the Huntington Beach Pier to Newport Beach, forcing a closure of the ocean from the Pier to the Santa Ana River jetty. The U.S. Coast Guard said an oil sheen off the coast was first reported at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday morning.
The city of Huntington Beach said: “The spill has significantly affected Huntington Beach, with substantial ecological impacts occurring at the beach and at the Huntington Beach Wetlands. In response, Huntington Beach Fire and Marine Safety personnel have been deployed throughout the day to implement environmental containment efforts.” As of early Sunday morning, city officials said the leak had not yet been stopped but preliminary patching to repair the oil spill site has been completed as the U.S. Coast Guard will continue to respond to the incident. The city also urged individuals to avoid the beach due to the “toxicity created by the spill” and city leadership canceled the Pacific Airshow, which was scheduled for Sunday to facilitate clean-up efforts. Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley tweeted that oil had washed up onto the Huntington Beach beachfront and that dead birds and fish have been seen washing up on the shore.
The pipeline is owned by Houston-based oil and gas company Amplify Energy, President and CEO Martyn Willsher said in a news conference Sunday. “We are fully committed to being out here until this incident is fully concluded,” Willsher said. No exact cause for the spill has been determined and the Coast Guard is conducting an investigation.