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Pipeline leaks more than 1,600 gallons of oil at Inglewood Oil Field

Two oil pumps
The Inglewood Oil Field in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles.
(Associated Press)

A pipeline leaked more than 1,600 gallons of oil this week in the Inglewood Oil Field near Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area when a valve was left open.

Human error caused the spill, which occurred at 8:10 a.m. Tuesday, according to a report from the state’s Office of Emergency Services.

The report indicated that the spill had been contained and that E&B Natural Resources, the company that operates the pipeline, was handling the cleanup.

In a statement, E&B spokesman Ted Cordova said that no injuries were reported and that the release of oil had remained contained due to an additional built-in safety measure to catch accidental spills.

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Mario Tresierras, chief of the L.A. County Fire Department’s Health Hazardous Materials Division, said that his team observed the cleanup and that the spill hadn’t warranted an evacuation or notification to residents.

“We would have taken action” if there had been a safety risk, he said.

But environmental groups Wednesday expressed alarm about residents who may have been exposed to toxins released into the air and renewed their concern about the Inglewood Oil Field, the largest urban oil field in the country. It spans about 1,000 acres around Culver City, Baldwin Hills and neighboring communities.

“Any spill that occurs in close proximity to neighborhoods puts people at risk, especially vulnerable populations like kids and elderly and folks with respiratory illnesses,” said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Last fall, Culver City approved a resolution to evaluate phasing out oil extraction in its portion of the field. The L.A. City Council is also considering a motion to study phasing out oil drilling citywide, said Monica Embrey, an associate director with the Sierra Club.


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