Spill has 'happy ending'

State and local officials allowed nature to take its course and let the sun evaporate the estimated five gallons of diesel fuel that spilled Jan. 4 in Huntington Harbour.

The Huntington Beach Fire Department, along with the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol, responded to a report of the spill around 11 p.m. at the harbor behind Peter's Landing at 16400 Pacific Coast Highway. The spill spanned an area about a quarter the size of a football field, said Huntington Beach Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff Lopez.

No damage to property or injury to wildlife was caused by the spill.

"It's a happy ending," Lopez said.

A boat is believed to have caused the spill, Lopez said. But there was no evidence that any of the docked boats was the source, he said.

"Even that is just an assumption," Lopez said. "It's a common source of something like that. It seems to be a boat that's no longer there."

Some bystanders reported seeing the sheen that covered the harbor and smelling the fuel as early as 4 or 5 p.m., Lopez said. But a report to the fire department was not made until 11 p.m.

Officials from the United States Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Game were also on hand to assess the damage and the cleanup.

An absorbent boom was discharged to help capture any hazardous material, but the problem was expected to be completely solved by the end of the day Jan. 5.


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