Nearly 21,000 gallons of crude oil was dumped in the ocean just off the central California coast due to pipeline raptures on Tuesday. Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Dave Zaniboni said that the oil spill started west of Santa Barbara. It moved towards Refugio State Beach.
The pipeline had a slick on the surface about 100 feet wide and about a half-mile long, which caused the leakage. The broken pipeline responsible for the leak has been closed.
Santa Barbara County health officials informed that Refugio State Beach, the central site of the spill, was shut down and the site was vacated following excessive foul gas smell.
Zaniboni said that the officials first found out about the leakage in the area around 11:42 a.m. A dark shine near the beach was noticed.
County emergency crews and teams from the U.S. Coast Guard and California state parks are working together to collect and clean up the oil spill along the coast.
Zaniboni said firefighters reported to the spot immediately and spotted on the beach a thick black slick along the pipeline.
The 24-inch ruptured pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline was immediately shut down, thereby stopping the flow of oil and also the culvert carrying oil to the ocean was blocked.
“Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact,” the company said in a statement.