Crews race to limit damage from major California oil spill

California, Oct. 4 (BUS): Crews on the water and on shore worked frantically Sunday to limit environmental damage from one of the largest oil spills in California’s recent history, caused by the suspected leak in an underwater pipeline that polluted the famous sands. . Huntington Beach and can keep beaches closed there for weeks or longer.

Booms were deployed on the ocean surface to try to contain the oil while divers sought to determine where and why the spill had occurred. The Associated Press (AP) reports that on Earth, there has been a race to find animals damaged by the oil and to prevent spills from harming any more sensitive swamps.

An estimated 126,000 gallons (572,807 liters) of heavy crude oil spilled into the waters off Orange County starting late Friday or early Saturday, when boat owners began reporting flashes in the water, officials said.

Pipeline and operations on three offshore platforms owned by Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp.

CEO Martin Welcher said it was closed on Saturday evening.

He said the 17.5-mile (28.16-kilometre) pipeline 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 meters) below the surface has been suctioned so that no more oil leaks as the leak site is being investigated.

The mayor of Huntington Beach, Kim Carr, said the beaches of the community, nicknamed “City of the Waves”, may remain closed for weeks or even months. The oil created a broad sheen for miles into the ocean and washed ashore in sticky black globules.

“In an incredibly challenging year, this oil spill constitutes one of the most devastating situations our society has dealt with in decades,” said Carr. “We are doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of our residents, visitors and natural habitats.”

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Some of the birds and fish were caught in the mud and died, said Orange County superintendent Katrina Foley.

But early Saturday afternoon, the US Coast Guard said there was so far only one red duck covered in oil and receiving veterinary care. “Other reports of oiled wildlife are being investigated,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Officials for the 25-acre (10 ha) wetland said crews led by the deployed Coast Guard skimmers have put up about 3,700 feet (1,128 meters) of floating bulkheads known as booms in an effort to prevent more oil from seeping into areas including Talbert. Marsh.

The smell of petroleum seeped into the air throughout the area.

“You only get the taste in the mouth from the vapors in the air,” Foley said.

Officials said the oil will likely continue to drift ashore for several days and affect Newport Beach and other nearby communities.

The closure included all of Huntington Beach, from the northern edge of the city 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) south to the Santa Ana River Pier. The closure came amid summer weather that would have brought large crowds for volleyball, swimming and surfing. A yellow warning tape was hung between the rescue towers to keep people away.

Officials have canceled the last day of the annual Pacific Air Show, which usually draws tens of thousands of spectators to the city of about 200,000 people south of Los Angeles. The show featured overflights by US Navy Blue Angels and US Air Force Thunderbirds.

The leaking pipeline connects to an oil production rig called Elly, which in turn is connected by a corridor to a drilling rig called Ellen. These two platforms and another one nearby are in federal waters.

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Elly started business in 1980 in an area called Beta Field. Oil is drawn from the depths of the ocean and processed by Elly by pipeline to Long Beach.

David Rapchon, a Huntington Beach resident, said he was concerned about the impact of the spill on the beaches where he grew up as well as the local economy.

“For the amount of oil this stuff produces, I don’t think it’s worth the risk,” Rapchon said. He questioned whether drilling for oil was a wise idea along some of Southern California’s most beautiful beaches, noting that the last day’s loss of air supply could deal a blow to the local economy.

“We need oil, but there is always a question: Do we need it there?” He said.

The spill comes three decades after the massive oil spill that struck the same stretch of coastline in Orange County. On February 7, 1990, the tanker American Trader ran over an anchor off Huntington Beach, spilling nearly 417,000 gallons (1.6 million liters) of crude oil. Fish and about 3,400 birds were killed.

In 2015, a ruptured pipeline north of Santa Barbara sent 143,000 gallons (541,313 liters) of crude oil flowing to Refugio State Beach.

The area affected by the recent spill is home to threatened and endangered species, including a stocky beach bird called the snow plover, the lesser humpback whale and the California tern.

“Coastal areas off Southern California are very rich in wildlife, and they are a biodiversity hotspot,” said Mioko Sakashita, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Ocean Program.

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Environmentalists said the effects of the oil spill are widespread. Birds that get oil on their feathers can’t fly, don’t clean themselves, and can’t monitor their temperatures, Sakashita said. She said whales, dolphins and other marine creatures may have trouble breathing or die after swimming in the oil or inhaling the toxic fumes.

“The oil spill shows how dirty and dangerous drilling for oil and oil that enters the water is. It is impossible to clean up until it ends up on our shores and people come into contact with it and wildlife comes into contact with it,” she said. “It has long-term effects on animal husbandry and breeding. It’s really sad to see this wide mount qualify.”

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