An oil pipeline rupture off the coast of Southern California has caused approximately 25,000 gallons of oil to spew into the Pacific Ocean, coating local wildlife habitats, shutting down miles of beaches, and posing a significant human health risk. The October 2nd breach occurred about five miles off Huntington Beach in Orange County and stemmed from a pipeline leak from a facility offshore operated by Beta Offshore, a subsidiary of Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp.
After the rupture and leak, oil reached land as water desecration spread. Huntington Beach has been the hardest hit area, with oil fouling some marshes and wetlands. Oil reached as far as San Diego County. The chemicals that will likely be used to clean the oil pollution will compound the threat to the environment. Miles of beaches and coastal areas were closed for two months, leaving business owners and residents to confront an economic and ecological disaster.
Health officials have warned people not to swim, surf, or exercise by the beach because of potential health hazards. People have also been urged not to fish in the area since the waters are considered toxic. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Orange County to assist with cleanup efforts. The California Department of Justice is investigating the spill.