Oil from Santa Barbara Spill Ended Up On Ventura, and LA-county Beaches

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REFUGIO STATE BEACH, Calif. – Officials from Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline say initial samples indicate oil from the Refugio spill appears to have migrated to beaches in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Plains owns the 24-inch pipeline that ruptured in Santa Barbara County on May 19, spilling as much as 101,000 gallons of crude oil. An estimated 21,000 gallons reached the ocean.

According to a report in the Ventura County Star, in the weeks since, tar balls and globs of oil have shown up on beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Crews responded to the beaches here, cleaning up the oil and tar, and samples were sent away to determine the source.

On Monday, Plains released a statement saying that results from an initial analysis suggests that oil released from the breached pipeline “appears to have migrated over time to beaches in Ventura and Los Angeles counties along with oil from other sources.”

Some of the animals found dead have had oil on their bodies, others have not. But officials say that oiling does not necessarily mean that’s an animal’s cause of death. That determination will be made after a necropsy is completed.