Brown declares emergency over Central Coast oil spill
May 21, 2015
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday in response to the oil spill near Goleta that has caused about 21,000 gallons of crude to flow into the ocean.
Brown’s emergency declaration frees state funds and resources to aid the cleanup effort. Officials say as many as 105,000 gallons of oil spilled from the ruptured Santa Barbara County pipeline.
The spill has now spread across nine miles of ocean. Workers have thus far cleaned up approximately 6,000 gallons of oil.
A portion of the pipeline ruptured near Refugio State Beach in the early afternoon on Tuesday. Oil spilled into a culvert that runs under Highway 101 and then into a ditch that drains into the ocean.
Crude oil transport company Plains All American Pipeline shut down the ruptured pipeline three hours after identifying the leak. Plains All American has apologized for the spill.
Both the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and the California Attorney General’s Office are investigating the spill and could pursue criminal prosecution or a civil fine. Federal regulators are also investigating the leak.
There are no clear estimates as to when the cleanup will conclude.