California Oil Spills – NBC Los Angeles
Beaches are still closed and investigations and cleanup efforts are still ongoing, after a pipeline leak off the coast of Orange County spilled at least 126,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean over the weekend. -end last.
California has a long association with oil spills, in part because the state sits on an ocean of it. West Los Angeles and Inglewood, for example, were filled with oil rigs in the mid-1920s during the Jazz Age.
It all came after the biggest oil spill in American history: the Lakeview Gusher in Kern County, which lasted 18 months and spat 378 million gallons of oil into the environment and created a lake. of oil 100 feet deep.
Concerns about local businesses, the environment and more continue as the cleanup continues in Huntington Beach. Patrick Healy reports on October 6, 2021.
This spill took place over 100 years ago, in 1910. But recent oil spills from oil rigs remain a major problem.
The California Coastal Commission, the state agency that “plans and regulates the use of land and water in the coastal area,” according to its website, has compiled a list of five major oil spills in the state. that have taken place recently.
PHOTOS: Huntington Beach oil spill causes massive ecological damage
1969 Union oil rig spill
On January 28, 1969, Union Oil’s Santa Barbara “A” drilling rig suffered a well blowout during drill bit replacement.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a mixture of “oil, gas and drilling mud roared through the drilling casing and spilled over the rig,” spilling 4.2 million gallons of crude oil into the ‘ocean.
This oil spread over 300 miles along the California coast.
The leak was plugged on February 7, but natural faults several hundred meters from the platform leaked oil until December of the same year.
Cleanup took significantly longer in 1969 without the tools and technology available today, according to NOAA. The spill was one of the incidents that spurred the modern environmental movement and was the first use of the National Pollution Emergency Plan instituted by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
1971 San Francisco Bay Spill
On January 18, 1971, two tankers collided near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. After the Arizona Standard collided with the Oregon Standard, the ships remained stuck together as damaged cargo tanks from the Oregon Standard dumped fuel oil into the ocean.
Over the next few days, 800,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled across San Francisco Bay, with the spill reaching its largest size on January 20, 1971.
The spill was harmful to many birds, but the disaster and the bird cleaning stations created to care for these animals helped create the International Bird Rescue organization, according to its website.
1990 U.S. Trader Spill
On February 7, 1990, the American Trader – an oil tanker – crushed his own anchor and drilled a hole in its hull.
The resulting spill spilled about 416,598 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Huntington Beach in Orange County, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
About 3,400 birds died, as well as fish affected by the polluted water. The beaches were also closed for this spill.
Between biological and recreational impacts, the British Petroleum, Attransco, Golden West Refining Co. found responsible ended up paying tens of millions of dollars for the disaster.
2007 Cosco Busan spill
On November 7, 2007, the Cosco Busan struck the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
The damaged ship spilled between 53,000 and 58,000 gallons of oil in San Francisco Bay, closing miles of beaches.
Over 6,800 dead birds have been reported and the poisonous oil affected the herring during their spawning season, causing defects in fish that hatched in 2008 and affecting the food chain of other wildlife.
Several agencies have opened investigations into possible charges against the oil company at the center of an oil spill off Refugio State Beach. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 22, 2015.
2015 Refuge spill
On May 19, 2015, an oil pipeline near Refugio State Beach ruptured, spewing 100,000 gallons of crude oil into the Santa Barbara County environment.
At the time, it was the worst oil spill in California in 25 years. The total cost of the incident to Texas-based Plains All-American Pipeline was at least $ 335 million in 2020.
The spill has blackened popular beaches for miles, killed or soiled hundreds of seabirds, seals and other wildlife, and hurt tourism and fishing.