San Pedro, CA–After sustained cleanup operations for the Southern California oil spill, affected shoreline segments have been returned to their original condition.
The Unified Command, led by the U. S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the County of Orange, the County of San Diego, and the Responsible Party, thoroughly assessed all segments to reach this milestone in the incident response.
The spill response will now enter a transition period; the Unified Command will monitor tarball and oiling incidents along with associated sampling results to determine the source of the oil. Once the Unified Command determines the transition period should end, the response will officially conclude and the U.S. Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Wildlife will return to their standard pollution response posture as natural resource trustees.
The multi-agency response to oiling began on October 2, 2021, after reports of an oil release began impacting Southern California.
“As we stand down this Unified Command, it’s imperative that we applaud the hundreds of dedicated responders who rushed in with their experience and expertise early on and remained committed over the course of the response. The strong partnership between federal, state, and local agencies also proved crucial in the mass coordination of efforts to clean up our beaches and shorelines. We are grateful to all the dedicated scientists, wildlife care experts, technical specialists, and law enforcement personnel who commit themselves to protecting our natural resources,” said Christian Corbo, patrol lieutenant with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife who served as state on-scene coordinator.
The oiled sand and debris are being disposed of in a special landfill designed for petroleum-contaminated material.
“The collaborative efforts of the first responders, public safety professionals, assessment teams, and response workers were critical to ensure our waters, beaches, and wildlife were cleaned to the highest standard. I want to thank our team members and the public, as this was a complex incident that required the professionalism and expertise of each person involved, over 1800 personnel,” said U.S. Coast Guard Captain Rebecca Ore, federal on-scene coordinator.
“This response was a true team effort – one that included the commitment and dedication of federal, state, and local agencies along with our response team. We are grateful for their work and would like to thank all the members of the Unified Command for their professionalism and collaboration over the past three months. As members of this community, we remain steadfast in our commitment to safe operations and environmental compliance and stewardship,” said Dan Steward, Vice President of Amplify Energy’s Beta operations.
The pipeline remains shut down. The Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has approved Amplify Energy’s proposed pipeline repair and flushing procedure. The temporary repair has been completed and representatives from the safety administration, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the State Fire Marshal will oversee flushing operations to remove the remaining product from the line.
An active investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board is ongoing independent of this response.
Cleanup crews are prepared to respond to further oiling, and shoreline monitoring will continue to take place. The public is asked to report any sizable sightings of oil or oily debris to the National Response Center hotline at 1-800-424-8802.
Community members impacted by the oil spill who need to file a claim can call 1-866-985-8366.