A 2.5-Mile Long Oil Patch Is Floating Off Huntington Beach - Stab Mag

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A 2.5-Mile Long Oil Patch Is Floating Off Huntington Beach

The U.S. Coast Guard is still searching for the source.

elsewhere // Mar 10, 2024
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Authorities are investigating a possible oil spill about 1.5 miles from Huntington Beach, according to multiple reports. 

On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies began looking for the source of a nearly 2.5-mile-long oil sheen, according to the New York Times. After more than 24 hours of investigating, they’re still not sure what caused the oil to appear in the water.

Members of the Coast Guard, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Huntington Beach’s lifeguards and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office searched the area through the night and into late Friday morning. 

“Right now we’re trying to figure out if there are any potential sources for the spill,” Richard Brahm, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, told the Times. “It could be natural seepage, it could have been a discharge. We’re not sure.”

However, NBC Los Angeles reported that the “California Governor’s Office Emergency Services filed a hazardous materials spill report, detailing an overflow of petroleum coming from an offshore platform belonging to Beta Offshore. Beta Offshore operates three oil platforms in federal waters off the coast of Long Beach, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.” 

The state’s report also claimed that “once the petroleum leak was detected Thursday night, Beta Offshore shut down the line and deployed a boat to check for an oil sheen,” according to NBC Los Angeles. Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley claimed the oil might have spilled from an offshore platform, but the Coast Guard has not confirmed the source. 

“If it is one of the platforms, obviously we’ll hold them responsible and work with them,” Brahm said to the Times. “They’ll be the responsible party, and they’ll get it cleaned up, but right now it’s all under investigation and we’re trying to figure it out.”

Though it’s still early, it appears this oil is nowhere near the mess caused when 144,000 gallons of crude oil spewed into Huntington Beach, resulting in a 17-square-mile slick, in October 2021. For now, the beaches are still open in Huntington and there are no reports of animals (or humans) taking dirty baths. Get waves while you can. 

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