Authorities had ‘strong indication’ of Southern California oil spill at least 10 hours before it was reported

Authorities had ‘strong indication’ of Southern California oil spill at least 10 hours before it was reported

  • Officials in Southern California reported an oil spill off the coast on Saturday. 
  • Beaches from Newport Beach to Huntington Beach were closed by Saturday night. 
  • Documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times say officials may have known on Friday night. 

California and federal authorities had a “strong indication” of an oil spill in Southern California the night before it was reported by the operator of an oil platform, according to documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times

The Times reported that a report from the Office of Spill Prevention and Response, which is part of California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and is responsible for handling these kinds of emergencies, said they were notified about oil sheen several miles off of Huntington Beach at 10:22 p.m. on Friday.

Residents also told the Times they smelled oil on Friday night. 

However, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Services said Amplify Energy, which owns the pipelines that caused the spill, reported it around 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Times reported. 

Beaches from Newport Beach to Huntington Beach were closed by Saturday night after the 13-mile slick was reported off the coast and expected to wash ashore.

By Sunday afternoon the oil had reached the shore. More than 125,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the pipeline.

Amplify Energy told the Times they only became aware of the spill on Saturday. A high-ranking Coast Guard official told the Times that they investigating it as a possible negligence issue and looking into whether or not the company noticed a drop in pressure that would have allowed the oil to pour into the water without any intervention. 

Insider’s Lauren Frias reported that the spill has caused dead birds and fish to wash ashore. 

 

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