Plains All American Pipeline provided the following update as cleanup operations continued near Goleta, Calif. This update is for the Friday, June 5, 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 1,400 people worked on the response across the five work zones and in the Incident Command Post. More than 1,275 people were in the field, and nearly 125 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 Friday, June 5. The next update will be published Monday, June 8, covering the June 6-7 work period.
- 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 overflights, and the environmental unit of Unified Command is assessing its possible sources. As the area is prone to natural oil seepage, Unified Command is analyzing seep and sheen samples to evaluate whether any of the remaining oils and sheen seen offshore is pipeline oil. The samples were collected Thursday, June 4, 2015, by sampling crews who were directed to specific locations by guides in helicopters. Samples were collected from five known locations of historical, natural seepage and seven samples were collected from the affected areas where the skimming operations are operating.
- 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 950 people were working on beach cleanup activities.
- In Santa Barbara County, work crews collected lightly oiled seaweed and kelp from the shoreline as well as manually cleaned oil from the rocks in the affected areas.
- In Ventura County, the initial phase of cleaning operations is continuing and shoreline cleanup assessments are being conducted to determine whether any additional cleaning will be necessary. Unified Command is still awaiting final test results that should help identify the source of the oily material that washed 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.
- 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.