Oil Spill Closes|California Beach

SANTA BARBARA (CN) – Hundreds of people are working to contain an oil spill off Refugio Beach near Santa Barbara that could be as large as 105,000 gallons of crude oil.
     Plains All American Pipeline said that the 105,000-gallon estimate was the “worst-case scenario” of the Tuesday morning spill from its Las Flores to Gaviota pipeline. Plains said about 21,000 gallons spilled from the pipeline into a storm drain and into the ocean, resulting in two slicks that cover 9 square miles of water.
     Plains has blocked off the culvert.
     Vacuum trucks, skimmer boats, absorbent pads and 3,000 feet of containment boom have collected 6,090 gallons of the oil so far.
     More than 272 responders are working, from the Coast Guard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Office of Spill Prevention, the Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Management and the pipeline company.
     Commercial aircraft and commercial and federal vessels are assessing the damage.
     Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency during the response, to protect sensitive habitat for the endangered California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover and the marine environment for migrating whales and other marine wildlife.
     El Capitan State Beach and Refugio State Beach and campgrounds have been closed.
     The Department of Fish and Wildlife has banned fishing from 1 mile east to 1 mile west of Refugio Beach and to ½ a mile offshore. Both shoulders of north- and southbound Highway 101 have been closed to parking and traffic.
     Volunteers can find information at Calspillwatch.com.

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