California to Investigate Oil Spill

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Huntington Beach reopens, but officials urge visitors to avoid areas where they smell oil

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Workers at Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp. saw oil in the water near an oil processing plant off the coast of Huntington Beach two weeks ago. The underwater oil spill, caused by a 13-inch split in an underwater pipeline, occurred about 5 miles from the coast of the seafloor. It washed away dead wildlife near Huntington and Newport beaches.

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The US Coast Guard has said preliminary findings estimated a pipeline released between 24,696 gallons of oil and a “worst case discharge” of 131,000 gallons during the leak. A Coast Guard investigation into the cause is ongoing.

Mr Bonta and US Sen. Alex Padilla visited the beaches and waters around the spill on Monday and received a briefing at the incident command center.

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Mr Padilla, a Democrat, said clean-up efforts were on and no oil was visible from the air. “Progress so far is looking good, but we don’t want to take anything lightly,” he said.

Huntington Beach reopened on Monday after more than a week after thousands of gallons of oil spilled into the water.

California State Parks and the City of Huntington Beach said water quality tests showed that the water did not contain trace amounts of oil-associated toxins. He cautioned beachgoers to avoid areas where they might smell the oil and said an advisory notice is in effect for Huntington Beach beaches. Officials said water testing would be done twice a week for at least the next two weeks.

According to the Unified Command, more than 5,500 gallons of crude oil have been recovered. It warned that visitors to beaches in San Diego and Orange counties could come across tar balls and encouraged people to report any sightings to authorities. The Unified Command said 13.6 barrels of tar balls were recovered on Saturday.

Write to Talal Ansari at [email protected] and Allison Prang at [email protected]

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