Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Orange County late Monday, as California agencies help in the response to the massive spill that leaked thousands of gallons of oil over the weekend into the Pacific Ocean off Huntington Beach.
Newsom in a statement said California was, “moving to cut red tape and mobilize all available resources to protect public health and the environment.”
Officials on Monday said no more oil was seeping into the ocean as they worked to contain the spill that had grown to an estimated 126,000 gallons. About 4,158 gallons of oil were removed from the water by Monday afternoon, according to officials with the U.S. Coast Guard, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and Amplify Energy, which make up the unified command response addressing the spill. Amplify Energy operates the offshore oil rig believed to be the source of the leak and sent divers down Monday to try to pinpoint the source.
In Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Dana Point and Laguna Beach, officials are telling people to stay away from the shorelines, and state wildlife authorities declared a ban on fishing or collecting shellfish between Huntington Beach and Dana Point. Newport Harbor and Dana Point Harbor also remain closed.
Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard and Amplify Energy said on Monday they were looking at whether a ship’s anchor striking and rupturing a pipeline possibly caused the spill. It was described as one of the possibilities being looked at.
In his order, Newsom said agencies across the state were allocating resources to address the oil slick, including the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California State Parks, CAL FIRE and more.
“As California continues to lead the nation in phasing out fossil fuels and combating the climate crisis, this incident serves as a reminder of the enormous cost fossil fuels have on our communities and the environment,” he said in a statement.
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