Monday, February 6, 2023
spot_img
HomeEnvironment'Catastrophic' California oil spill kills fish, damages wetlands

Subscribe

To our FREE newsletter
Get all the latest maritime news delivered straight to your inbox.

‘Catastrophic’ California oil spill kills fish, damages wetlands

A large oil spill off the southern California coast left fish dead, birds mired in petroleum and wetlands contaminated, prompting local officials to call it an environmental catastrophe.

The U.S. Coast Guard, heading a clean-up response involving federal, state and city agencies, said on Sunday there was an around-the-clock investigation into how the spill occurred.

An estimated 126,000 gallons, or 3,000 barrels, had spread into an oil slick covering about 13 square miles of the Pacific Ocean since it was first reported on Saturday morning, said Kim Carr, the mayor of Huntington Beach, at a press conference.

She called the spill an “environmental catastrophe” and a “potential ecological disaster”. The beachside city, about 40 miles (65 km) south of Los Angeles, was bearing the brunt of the spill.

Carr added: “Our wetlands are being degraded and portions of our coastline are now covered in oil.”

The spill was caused by a breach connected to the Elly oil rig and stretched from the Huntington Beach Pier down to Newport Beach, a stretch of coast popular with surfers and sunbathers.

Carr said the oil rig was operated by Beta Offshore, a California subsidiary of Houston-based Amplify Energy Corporation. Calls to Beta and Amplify went unanswered.

Carr, in her remarks, added: “In the coming days and weeks we challenge the responsible parties to do everything possible to rectify this environmental catastrophe.”

Amplify Energy CEO Martyn Willsher said at a press conference in Long Beach that the pipeline had been shut off and remaining oil suctioned out. He said divers were still trying to determine where and why the spill occurred.

U.S. Representative Michelle Steel, a Republican representing part of the affected area, sent a letter to Democratic President Joe Biden requesting a major disaster declaration for Orange County, which would free up federal funds to help with the clean-up efforts.

Steel later told CNN: “This is a really serious disaster”.

Cottie Petrie-Norris, a Democratic state assembly member representing some areas affected by the spill, said she had “huge concerns” about the extent of the damage to the environment, communities and local economy.

She told CNN the spill was a “call to action that we need to stop drilling off our precious California coast.”

Oil production off California’s coast has declined sharply since its peak in the 1990s, in part due to the state’s strict environmental rules. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom said he wants to end oil drilling in the state by 2045.

Offshore drilling was restricted in the state after a devastating 1969 oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara that dumped 80,000 barrels into the ocean. More recently another spill off Santa Barbara in 2015 sent as much as 2,400 barrels onto the shore and into the Pacific.

Oceana, an ocean conservation group, also called for an end to offshore oil and gas drilling.

Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana’s chief policy officer, said in a statement: “This is just the latest tragedy of the oil industry. It’s well past time to prevent future oil spills by permanently protecting our coasts from offshore drilling.”

The spill occurred in federal waters. Officials said federal, state and city agencies were involved in a response headed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

On Sunday, Orange County supervisor Katrina Foley said the oil had infiltrated the Talbert Marsh, a large ecological reserve, causing “significant damage.”

Beaches were closed to swimming and a local air show was canceled, although some people were undeterred from setting up chairs on the beach to enjoy a sunny Sunday or strolling along the pier.

Carr said officials had deployed 2,050 feet (625 meters) of protective booms, which help contain and slow the oil flows.

The U.S. Coast Guard, working with local and state agencies, flew airplanes to assess the spill and had hired contractors to clean it up.

Officials said they were investigating the cause of the spill and the type of oil involved.

Source: Reuters [photocredit: reuters]

Related Posts

Video

Finance & Economy
Shipping News
Ports

LNG boosts CPLP 2022 results

Capital Product Partners L.P. released its financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022. Highlights  Three-month periods ended December 31, 20222021Increase/(Decrease)Revenues$79.9 million$63.6 million26%Expenses$42.1 million$35.7...

Keppel Corp posts 9% drop in full-year profit

Singapore’s Keppel Corp said on Thursday its net profit for the year fell 9%, partly hurt by weak performance from its urban development business...

Stolt-Nielsen sees Q4 profits rise on strong markets

Stolt-Nielsen Limited reported unaudited results for the fourth quarter and full year 2022. The Company reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $95.3 million, with revenue...

Euronav delivers better-than-expected Q4 revenue

Euronav NV reported its non-audited financial results for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2022. Hugo De Stoop, CEO of Euronav said: “Constrained vessel supply...

Wartsila: A challenging year with strong annual growth

HIGHLIGHTS FROM OCTOBER–DECEMBER 2022 Order intake decreased by 24% to EUR 1,638 million (2,150)Service order intake increased by 6% to EUR 791 million (747)Net sales...

Baltic index hits over 2-year trough on waning demand for larger vessels

The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index dropped to its lowest level in...

Luxury Cruise Market Holds Much Promise For Greek & East Med Hidden Gem Destinations

The appeal of Greece and the East Mediterranean as an ideal region for luxury...

Baltic index falls to over 2-year low as larger vessel rates slide

The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index fell to its lowest since June...

Baltic index logs worst month in 3 years

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index registered its biggest monthly percentage fall in...

Baltic index snaps 9-day losing streak as panamax, supramax rates rise

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index snapped its nine-session losing streak on Tuesday,...

DP World wins bid for development of a mega-container terminal at India’s Deendayal Port

DP World has won a major concession to develop, operate and maintain the mega-container terminal at Deendayal port in Gujarat, on the western coast...

Luxury Cruise Market Holds Much Promise For Greek & East Med Hidden Gem Destinations

The appeal of Greece and the East Mediterranean as an ideal region for luxury cruising will be one of the main highlights of the...

Port of Los Angeles proposes cruise terminal project

The Port of Los Angeles is inviting comments on a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the future development of a new Outer Harbor...

Port of Long Beach Closes 2022 with Second-Busiest Year

The Port of Long Beach marked its second-busiest year on record by moving 9.13 million twenty-foot equivalent units in 2022, allowing for a return...

Hapag-Lloyd AG acquires share in J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited

Hapag-Lloyd AG signed a binding agreement today under which it will acquire 35% of J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Limited (JMBPL) from a...