On Monday, May 19, a 24-inch pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline burst and spilled at least 21,000 gallons of oil into the ocean off the Santa Barbara coastline. Refugio State Beach was at the center of this spill and has been shut down indefinitely due to the massive cleanup that’s underway. Sadly, the oil spill has almost doubled in size and is now stretching 9 miles.
According to FOX News, Plains Pipeline released the following comments about the situation:
“Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact.”
Unfortunately, this spill will have a disastrous impact. Santa Barbara County Supervisor Doreen Farr made the following emotional comments about this spill, according to NBC Los Angeles:
“It’s important to remember this stretch of California coastline is unique to the world. It’s beautiful and pristine. This is more than an inconvenience. This is just a disaster. We are taking it very seriously.”
As of now, the US Coast Guard is still trying to determine exactly how much oil was spilled. Initial projections were at 500 barrels or 21,000 gallons. However, due to the oil spillage’s overnight growth, it’s become unclear just how much came out of the broken pipe.
This is a devastating event for that coast line. The damage from this spill will have an impact on that region for decades to come.