Plains All American Pipeline provided the following update as cleanup operations continued near Goleta, Calif. This update is for the Thursday, June 4, work period and is attributable to Pat Hodgins, senior director, Safety & Security, Plains All American Pipeline, who is serving as the Plains Incident Commander and its representative within Unified Command.
Plains deeply regrets that this unfortunate incident occurred, and we are sorry for the resulting impact to the environment and wildlife, as well as for any disruption caused to residents and visitors. Plains is committed to doing everything in our power to make this right.
More than 1,200 people worked on the response across the five work zones and in the Incident Command Post. More than 1,100 people were in the field, and nearly 130 people, including federal, state and local agency partners, were managing the operations in the command center.
The following is an update on activity in the work zones on Thursday, June 4:
- We continued efforts to address any recoverable oil. One skimmer, 20 other vessels and about 7,100 feet of booms were deployed to capture any sheen and protect the shore.
- Oil has been observed from over flights, and the environmental unit of Unified Command is assessing possible sources. As the area is prone to natural oil seepage, Unified Command collected seep and sheen samples to evaluate whether any of the remaining oils and sheen seen offshore is pipeline oil. Out of an abundance of caution, skimming operations continue to occur on suspected natural seeps to help minimize potential impact to ongoing shoreline cleanup activities.
- Nearly all the remaining visible pipeline oil remains co-mingled with the rock and cobble. As the tides ebb and flow, the remnant oil is being churned up by the wave action. We continue to maintain teams on the beach to clean as this happens.
- Four teams of recovery experts conducted regular shoreline cleanup assessments to direct the deployment of work crews and determine the best methods of removing the oil. Approximately 850 people were working on beach cleanup activities.
- Work crews continue clean up at work sites from Gaviota Creek, Santa Barbara County, to Hollywood Beach, Ventura County. They are working under the direction of wildlife officials and are being careful not to disturb the nesting areas of the snowy plovers.
- In Santa Barbara County, work crews collected oiled seaweed and kelp from the shoreline as well as manually cleaned oil from the rocks in the affected areas.
- In Ventura County, Unified Command is still awaiting final test results that should help identify the source of the oily material washing up on shore. Until we know more, Plains is responding as if this is related to the Refugio incident and commits to do what is necessary to clean Ventura’s beaches.
- In the area west of the southbound 101, work crews continued making progress excavating the oiled soil. Nearly one-third of the oiled soil has been removed in this first phase of cleanup.
- We have completed the initial cleanup and are continuing to monitor the area to determine whether additional work is necessary.
- As soon as the remaining activities conclude and testing confirms the oil has been removed from the soil in the area, we will cover the exposed section of pipe with clean soil.
- For those who have questions or who would like to submit a claim, please call 866-753-3619. We are actively addressing claims as they are received.
- We regret any impact this unfortunate accidental release has caused and are working diligently to provide relief.