VENTURA, CA – Thousands of gallons of crude oil spilled from a pipeline in Ventura Thursday – though, according to fire officials, emergency crews were able to stop the flow from reaching the ocean.
Ventura County Environmental Health is now vacuuming up the remaining oil, which inundated the arroyo and coated rocks and plants.
While the cause of the leak is still under investigation, the spill likely originated from a valve on an underground pipeline, according to Crimson Pipeline spokesperson Kendall Kingler.
The affected section had been closed for maintenance. The pipeline transports oil from Ventura County to Los Angeles.
Kendall said the remotely-monitored line was emptied on Wednesday to replace valves.
Oil was flushed back in, but the pipeline wasn’t at full capacity when the spill occurred and there wasn’t enough oil in the line to detect a drop in pressure.
The spill was the 11th for Denver-based Crimson since 2006, according to records filed with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. A total of 313,000 gallons of crude were released, causing $5.9 million in property damage.
Crimson has said most of the previous spills were caused by third parties.
The operator, Plains All American Pipeline, was indicted on 46 criminal counts, including four felonies involving polluting state waters.