Ruptured pipeline spills 21,000 gallons of oil along California coast


An oil spill in California on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, created a slick in the ocean that stretched for miles near a popular beach. Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Dave Zaniboni said the spill began west of Santa Barbara after a pipeline ruptured and has now moved toward Refugio State Beach. The pipeline responsible has been shut off, he said.

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (May 20, 2015) – A pipeline leaked about 21,000 gallons of crude oil near a beach in California, authorities said, creating a dark sheen that stretched for miles.

The 24-inch pipeline ruptured along the Santa Barbara coast Tuesday, according to Capt. Jennifer Williams of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, which owns it, said it shut down the flow of oil in the pipeline and is conducting an emergency response.

It said the leaked oil reached a culvert, which then spilled into the Pacific Ocean. The culvert was later blocked to stop the flow.

“Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact,” it said. “No injuries have been reported at this time.”

The company said it found out about the oil Tuesday. The spill affected its Las Flores to Gaviota pipeline in Santa Barbara County.

The spill began west of Santa Barbara and moved toward Refugio state beach, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said.

A slick stretched for 4 miles near Refugio Beach, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

County emergency crews have teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard and California state parks to contain and clean up the spill.

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