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Photo shows an oil sheen in the water off Hungtington Beach. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Oil sheen in the water off Hungtington Beach. Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Response Concludes for Oil Sheen Off Huntington Beach

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2452
March 11, 2024

A Unified Command on Monday concluded its response to an oil sheen spotted off the coast of Huntington Beach, California.

Cleanup crews managed to recover approximately 85 gallons of product from the sea and removed an estimated 1,050 pounds of oily waste, sand, and tar balls from the shoreline over the weekend.

The oil sheen, which stretched 2.5 miles long and half a mile wide, was reported last Thursday, about 1.5 miles off the coast near the Emmy and Eva platforms.

Captain Ryan Manning, the federal on-scene coordinator for the response, praised the efforts of all parties involved. “Our partnerships have proven to be our greatest asset in the face of this environmental challenge,” he said. “This operation underscores the importance of readiness, collaboration, and a shared dedication to preserving the natural beauty and health of our environment.”

The incident occurred in an area similar to the location of a 2021 oil spill caused by a ruptured underwater pipeline near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The pipeline was damaged by ships dragging anchor in a storm eight months before it was discovered.

The source of the oil in this case is still unknown. Preliminary results suggest the oil is lightly weathered crude, consistent with local crude oil from the Monterey Formation, and not imported crude oil brought to California by ship. However, the oil does not match archived samples from local oil platforms or the characteristics of another reported discharge from Platform Elly.

“While it is believed this was a one-time event, samples will be taken for additional analysis if another release is observed,” the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.

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