Officials say no impact to public health, safety or recreational fishing
As many as 125 gallons of crude oil leaked from a pier earlier this week at Haskell’s Beach.
Around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, state contractors were attempting to plug and abandon a well just offshore when they observed oil in the water. The crude leaked at Pier 421, said Eric Laughlin, spokesman for California Fish and Wildlife.
Officials estimate 80 to 125 gallons of crude oil were spilled. Goleta city officials have established a Unified Command and thus far multiple assessments have not detected any sheen on the water. Ground crews have discovered oil and oily debris along the shoreline in the vicinity of the pier and areas to the east, but the beach remains open, according to officials.
Officials say there is no impact to public health, safety or recreational fishing. City officials have asked the public to refrain from entering areas where crews are working or cleanup efforts are taking place.
Since most of the oil was observed on the shoreline, the team of about 30 contractors removing the material has focused on the beach, said Mr. Laughlin. They have been collecting oily sand and seaweed since Tuesday. About 300 bags of vegetation waste and 250 bags of oily sand have been collected so far, according to Mr. Laughlin.
“We made a lot of progress. We’ll be out there again (Friday),” said Mr. Laughlin.
Scientists continue to monitor sensitive environmental sites in the area including snowy plover nesting sites near Coal Oil Point. No impacts to those areas have been observed, officials said.
Crews from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) have also been assessing the area, said Mr. Laughlin. At this time, three birds have been collected. The Unified Command has warned people to avoid any potentially-oiled wildlife, as approaching or trying to help them can do more harm than good. Anyone seeing oiled wildlife is asked to call the OWCN at 1-877-823-6926.
Mayor of Goleta Paula Perotte issued a statement on the spill Thursday.
“Goleta is fully committed to protecting and preserving public safety and access to our beach and ocean. While oil spills are always of great concern, I am impressed by the way local, state, and federal agencies work together to contain the situation. We continue to monitor the situation and assess it for impacts,” said Ms. Perotte.
No public volunteers are needed at this time, officials said.