Feds Order Cleanup in Wake of California Beach Oil Spill

     SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday formally ordered the owner of a ruptured oil pipeline spoiling the California coastline to clean up its mess.
     Plains All American Pipeline owns and operates the line that ruptured earlier this month, spilling as much as 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean off Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara.
     The EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard issued a joint order under the federal Clean Water Act requiring Plains to continue its cleanup efforts inland, beachside and in the ocean – and to contain the oil and prevent further shoreline contamination.
     Regulators also issued federally enforceable timelines and cleanup requirements for the long term, necessary to clean up the largest coastal oil spill in California in 25 years.
     Nearly 1,000 people have worked to mitigate the effects of the spill, which occurred when a 24-inch pipeline ruptured on May 19.
     The EPA said crews have skimmed 10,060 gallons of oily seawater and have removed 310 cubic yards of oiled vegetation, 760 cubic yards of sand and 2,610 cubic yards of soil since cleanup operations began.
     Meanwhile, the EPA and U.S. Department of Transportation’s pipeline and hazardous materials division are investigating the cause of the rupture as well as the environmental impacts to one of the Golden State’s best-loved beaches.

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