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Home / News / Environment / Large oil sheen seen off Huntington Beach; investigation underway

Large oil sheen seen off Huntington Beach; investigation underway

by HeyWire AI
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An extensive oil sheen measuring approximately 2.5 miles in length and half a mile in width was discovered off the coast of Huntington Beach, Southern California, late Thursday evening. The U.S. Coast Guard received a report of the sheen around 6:50 p.m. and initiated an investigation to determine its origin, which remains uncertain at this time.

Initial observations positioned the sheen in the vicinity of two offshore oil drilling platforms, Eva and Emmy, which began operations in the 1980s. While the Coast Guard has yet to identify the source of the oil, they are examining all possible origins, including the platforms and other potential spill sources.

“We are actively monitoring reports of an oil sheen near Huntington Beach,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement that emphasized the collaboration between local, state and federal authorities to address the situation.

A view from farther away shows the oil sheen’s wide coverage area. | Photo courtesy of Richard Brahm/U.S. Coast Guard

Brady Bradshaw, a senior oceans campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity, expressed concern over California’s offshore infrastructure, describing it as “decrepit and dangerous.”

A Coast Guard spokesman’s statement to The New York Times acknowledged the history of spills in the area and the risks posed by aging platforms. However, the potential for natural seepage was also noted, which could mean the oil emerged from the ocean floor without human interference.

The environmental impact is currently being assessed by a unified command established by the Coast Guard, along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. No oiled wildlife has been reported so far, and the public has been advised not to approach any impacted animals they might encounter.

Efforts to control the spread of the sheen have included containment booms and absorbing material, Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Uranga said. The measures seem to have effectively limited any further expansion or movement of the oil on the water’s surface.

Meanwhile, swimmers and surfers remained safe to enjoy the beach, as the sheen is distant enough from the shore.

Amplify Energy, the parent company of Beta Operating Co. which runs platforms off nearby Long Beach, has declared it is not aware of a connection between its operations and the oil sheen. In a statement, the Houston-based corporation offered cooperation with authorities and support for any necessary actions.

As reported by NBC Los Angeles and Courthouse News

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