Tar balls traced to spill
Two studies say oil that washed ashore in L. A., Ventura areas was from pipe burst.
Crude oil from a pipeline rupture in Santa Barbara County last month f loated down the coast to beaches in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, according to separate lab results released Monday by state officials and the Texas pipeline company.
One sample of tar balls found in Manhattan Beach matched crude oil released into the ocean when the pipe burst May 19, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response.
As much as 21,000 gallons of oil spilled into the ocean.
A separate analysis of six tar ball samples found that two — from beaches in Ventura and Los Angeles counties — had oil from the broken Line 901.
That analysis was conducted by scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and UC Santa Barbara, Plains All American Pipeline officials said.
Plains officials have not said where exactly the two samples were taken, and calls to Plains, Woods Hole and UCSB were not immediately returned.
According to the Fish and Wildlife Department, low levels of tar balls “are typically present on Southern California beaches from natural sources, most commonly from offshore seepage from f issures in the seabed.”
But the higher number of tar balls that appeared on beaches after the oil spill led officials to wonder whether they were connected to the May rupture.
“This news underscores how dangerous oil spills are to our precious coastline,” Rep. Ted Lieu ( D- Torrance) said Monday. “That’s why I am firmly against coastline drilling, whether it’s in Hermosa Beach or in the Arctic.”
Kristen Monsell, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said “this f inding shows how unpredictable and widespread oil spill damage can be. We’ve got to prevent these incredibly harmful spills by moving away from oil drilling in our beautiful coastal areas.”
SIGNS warn people not to swim in Manhattan Beach after the appearance of tar- like substance along the shoreline. As much as 21,000 gallons of oil were spilled when a pipe burst in Santa Barbara County on May 19.
TAR BALLS found on Manhattan Beach matched oil from the May pipeline rupture, two studies say.