Petroleum Solids Washing Up On California Beaches Prompts Officials To Close Coastline

PictureThe entire coastline of Manhattan Beach outside Los Angeles remains closed today after globs of an petroleum solids continue to wash up on the shoreline of the popular beach. The oily substance began appearing on Wednesday afternoon and has since covered over 6 miles of shoreline, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.This unusual oil slick comes about a week after a 24-inch pipeline ruptured ruptured 100 miles North near Santa Barbara. The pipeline, owned by Santa Maria-based Plains All-American Pipeline, spilled oil into the ocean off Refugio State Beach, about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara.

The pipeline was on land but flowed from a culvert into the waters. The EPA says as many as 500 barrels may have reached the waters off the coast of Refugio State Beach.Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Manhattan Beach Mayor haven’t immediately placed blame on the oil spill from last week.

“They don’t even know the cause, so everything is precautionary at this point,” Manhattan Beach Mayor Wayne Powell told ABC 7 News.

Charlene Downey, the on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Coastguard, was asked during a Thursday morning news conference whether the substance might be related to the oil spill last week. She said it’s too early to tell whether there’s a connection.

“We are continuing to analyze the beaches and try to determine the source of the tar balls and tar patties that washed up on shore yesterday — It does take time to get those sent to the labs and analyzed so it could be a few days to a week.”PicturePhoto credit: ABC News 7Clean up crews have rescued brown pelicans and transferred a sea lion covered by the oily substance to Sea World for evaluation and treatment.

Local fishing areas have also been closed until crews are able to remove residual oil from area beaches. Local officials have urged people to stay away from the shoreline but are still welcome to to visit the beach.

Last year, some may recall a bill from environmentalist to permanently ban drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara that failed to pass the State Assembly. The bill’s failure to pass marked a major success for Sunset Exploration and drilling partner Exxon Mobile. The two oil companies are seeking the rights to drill for oil on an Air Force property nearby known as the Tranquillon Ridge. Environmentalists have called on the State Assembly to reevaluate the ban that failed in 2014.

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