Government officials, environmental experts and residents will be dealing with the effects of an oil spill on the Santa Barbara County coast for some time to come. The spill, estimated at 105,000 gallons, has affected about nine miles of coastline from just west of Refugio State Beach toward El Capitan State Beach.
The U.S. Coast Guard launched a cleanup effort at sunrise Wednesday, using aircraft to assess the size of the spill and where it could go. The National Weather Service said westerly winds could push the slick farther south along the coast. Below are recent highlights and L.A. Times reporter Javier Panzar is covering the spill live from the scene.
- Of the estimated 105,000 gallons spilled, tens of thousands could have gone into the ocean.
- An integrity check on the line was done two weeks ago, but results had not come back before the rupture.
- Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach are both closed.
- “We’re sorry this accident has happened, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience to the community,” said Darren Palmer, district manager for oil company Plains All American.