El Capitan beach to reopen
Refugio State Beach, which suffered the brunt of damage from the May 19 oil spill, remains closed.
El Capitan State Beach will reopen Friday, more than a month after 101,000 gallons of crude oil gushed from a ruptured pipeline on the Santa Barbara County coast.
An assessment of the beach by the California Department of Parks and Recreation determined it was safe for the public. The beach will reopen for camping and day use, officials said.
However, Refugio State Beach, which sustained the brunt of the damage from the May 19 oil spill, remains closed.
The rupture occurred in a 10.6-mile-long pipe owned by Plains All American Pipeline.
Of the oil spilled, about 21,000 gallons entered the Pacific Ocean near Refugio.
Cleanup efforts continue there, with volunteers collecting oiled water, sand, soil and vegetation.
They have recovered 157 mammals; 98 of those were dead. In addition, 186 of 243 recovered birds did not survive.
Some of the dead animals were covered in oil. The causes of death will not be confirmed until full examinations are completed.
Camping reservations at Refugio have been canceled until at least July 9.
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration found that corrosion ate away at the pipe’s metal wall.
A 6-inch opening was found along the bottom of the pipe where it burst, and the agency said the thickness of the pipe’s wall at that point had degraded to an estimated one-sixteenth of an inch.
Plains All American has 60 days to inspect Line 903, a pipeline with similar corrosion issues.
The line transports crude oil 128 miles from Santa Barbara County to Kern County and is con-
nected to the failed pipeline.
CREWS work to clean up the crude-stained Santa Barbara County coastline last month at El Capitan State Beach, which is scheduled to reopen for day use and camping on Friday, after being declared safe for the public.