- More than 140,000 gallons of oil were released from the pipeline’s rupture.
- An anchor is “one of the typical possibilities” behind the leak.
- Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency.
Huntington Beach, Calif. – The authority may determine as soon as Tuesday what caused the pipeline rupture Over 140,000 gallons of oil spilled Southern California is muddying the waters and beaches for miles, just off the coast.
Investigators are investigating whether the ship’s anchor may have hit a pipeline on the ocean floor. An anchor is “one of the specific possibilities” behind the leak, Amplify Energy CEO Martin Wilser told a news conference. Wilser said he hoped officials would have a better idea of what caused the damage on Tuesday.
Backlogs have plagued the ports in recent months, and dozens of ships are routinely anchored while waiting their turn to dock.
“We are looking into whether it could have been anchored from a ship, but it is still in the evaluation phase,” Coast Guard lieutenant commander. Jenny Shay said.
The pipeline was to be monitored by an automatic leak detection system and the control room was functional 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The criminal and civil investigation will try to find out the cause of the leak as well as whether Why did it take Amplify so long to learn about and report the unfolding disaster?.
The first emergency call came on Friday at 6:13 pm, and it was not from Amplify. According to a federal report on the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Spill Report website, a ship had noticed a sparkle in the water. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials notified the federal response center twice that night of a possible oil spill less than five miles from Huntington Beach, according to an update on the California Emergency Services website.
How did this happen: How a pipeline broke off the California coast, closed beaches and killed wildlife
So apparently there was oil in the water on Friday. Yet Amplify Energy said in a statement that its subsidiary, Beta Offshore, first observed and notified the Coast Guard of an oil spill Saturday morning.
The Associated Press reported that the leak detection system, part of Amplify’s spill response plan, was designed to trigger an alarm whenever a change in oil flow is detected. But how fast it can catch those changes can vary according to the size of the leak. For a large leak – 10% or more of the amount of oil flowing through the pipeline – the detection time was estimated at 5 minutes. According to the response plan, it was expected to take up to 50 minutes to detect the small leak.
Amplify’s spill plan warned that a pipeline rupture could cause “significant damage to the environment” and that in a worst-case scenario 131,000 gallons of oil could be released from the pipeline. This leakage exceeded that amount.
Governor Gavin Newsom, who expects to phase out drilling by 2045, declared a state of emergency.
“California continues to lead the country in eliminating fossil fuels and combating the climate crisis,” Newsom said. “This incident is a reminder of the huge cost fossil fuels are putting on our communities and the environment.”
Contribution: The Associated Press