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VENTURA : Mobil Cleans Up Oil Spill From Pipeline

A minor spill from a leaking pipe at the Mobil Oil Co. piers 10 miles north of Ventura turned white sea foam to a frothy brown along 300 yards of beach early Thursday.

By noon, a crew of 30 men in white suits had removed the oil from the water and beach. The crew spread spongy booms to soak up much of the estimated 10 gallons of oil that seeped through a pinhole in the pipeline.

The spill posed no danger to swimmers and little harm to aquatic life, Ventura County Environmental Health officials said. Nevertheless, Mobil was right to call out a full cleanup crew, said Greg Smith, specialist in the hazardous materials section of the environmental health division of the County Resource Management Agency.

“Even a small spill spreads out over a wide area,” Smith said. “And all the small spills add up, so even the little stuff has to be dealt with.”

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Matt West, production technician at the Mobil office in Ventura, said Mobil discovered the spill about 6:50 p.m. Wednesday. The leak, about 300 yards offshore in the pipeline leading from the pier to shore, was stopped, but officials did not know the cause of the leak.

“We want this cleaned up as fast as possible,” West said. “We would rather have overkill than not have enough.”


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