Orange County is wrestling with its third oil sheen off the coast in the last three weeks, and officials are still at a loss to explain where it’s coming from.
A tweet from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s office of Spill Prevention and Response said the sheen is roughly a mile off the coast of Bolsa Chica State Beach.
At this time, there’s no known estimated size of the sheen and no known source for where the oil may have come from.
The new sheen comes on the heels of two other oil sheens spotted last Thursday, one near Bolsa Chica and another near Huntington Beach.
There’s also been no statement from the US Coast Guard, who handled the two sheens reported last Thursday, on the source of oil those sheens came from.
Reports of new sheens off the coast have become regular announcements ever since an oil pipeline leaked near the coast of Huntington Beach over the weekend of Oct. 2 and sent an estimated 25,000 gallons of oil toward Orange County.
Last week, federal prosecutors revealed they were charging Amplify Energy, the company who managed the pipeline, with criminal negligence, alleging that pipeline operators ignored multiple alarms of a leak and that the oil rig was understaffed.
It’s still unclear whether or not Amplify is responsible for any of the sheens spotted this month.
Divers sent out by the Coast Guard confirmed last week that the wrap on the edge of the pipeline was holding, but haven’t announced any other source.
Noah Biesiada is a Voice of OC Reporting Fellow. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NBiesiada.
And since you’ve made it this far,
You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.