A major oil spill has dumped about 126,000 gallons of post-production crude off the coast of Southern California that is seen to have a huge negative impact on the area’s ecosystem.
The 126,000 gallons is equivalent to about 572,000 liters.
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 spill has significantly affected Huntington Beach, with substantial ecological impacts occurring at the beach and at the Huntington Beach Wetlands,” the city said. “In response, Huntington Beach Fire and Marine Safety personnel have been deployed throughout the day to implement environmental containment efforts.”
The U.S. Coast Guard said an oil sheen off the coast was first reported at 9:10 a.m. on Saturday morning.
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.
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.
Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said Coast Guard information indicates the spill may have been the result of an oil release from an offshore oil production off the coast.
No exact cause for the spill has been determined and the Coast Guard is conducting an investigation.