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Oil spill cleanup in Atwater Village expected to take several days

Upstream Oil and Gas ActivitiesOil and Chemical SpillsIndustrial DisastersEnvironmental IssuesEnvironmental PollutionLos Angeles Fire DepartmentPlains All American Pipeline LP
Oil spill cleanup in Atwater Village could take several days
Roads still closed around Atwater Village oil spill cleanup site

Cleanup of a 10,000-gallon crude oil spill in Atwater Village is expected to continue for several days, and roads remained closed in the area Friday, officials said.

Crews continued Friday to power-spray affected asphalt, concrete and walls in the 5100 block of West San Fernando Road.

A rupture in an above-ground pipeline at a Plains All American Pipeline pump station early Thursday spewed black oil 20 feet into the air and created pools of oil, some about 40 feet wide and knee-deep, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

More than 100 response personnel and multiple state and local agencies "have been involved in around-the-clock onsite cleanup efforts," said Brad Leone, a spokesman for Plains All American, in a statement. 

Portions of West San Fernando Road and Brazil Street remained closed Friday as cleanup continued. The streets are expected to "reopen in stages" by Monday, Leone said.

"Plains' primary focus remains maintaining the safety of all involved and mitigating environmental and community impacts," Leone said.

Firefighters said they discovered the 20-inch pipeline break shortly after midnight Thursday.

Oil seeped through cracks in the asphalt of a parking lot behind a strip club and contaminated the soil, said Nosa Omoruyi, a hazardous materials specialist for Los Angeles County. Some asphalt in the parking lot will have to be removed, he said.

There was no indication that oil entered the nearby Los Angeles River, officials said. 

The cleanup is now being handled mostly by private contractors, according to the fire department.  

Plains All American, based in Texas, is investigating the cause of the rupture but said in a statement that "early indications are that the top part of a valve ... failed, allowing oil to escape in a spray."

Firefighters were able to contain much of the spill by using loads of sand from a nearby cement company to build a berm, creating a sort of lagoon of oil that tanker trucks were then able to vacuum up. Crews used absorbant "diapers" to sop the oil off the ground and from the walls of nearby businesses.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Upstream Oil and Gas ActivitiesOil and Chemical SpillsIndustrial DisastersEnvironmental IssuesEnvironmental PollutionLos Angeles Fire DepartmentPlains All American Pipeline LP
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