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Santa Barbara oil spill could top the 100,000 gallon mark

Refugio State Beach © Facebook




Environment Updates

State of emergency declared in Santa Barbara

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 20 May, 2015 - A state of emergency has been declared by California Governor Jerry Brown for Santa Barbara County as cleanup teams try to stem the damage from a ruptured oil pipeline. The underground oil pipe might have spilled up to 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean near the surf break at Rufugio.

More than 20,000 gallons are estimated to have spilled into the ocean, seeping through the ground into a culvert and flowing into the ocean. It is not known how much spilled through the underground part of the culvert.

The line, which can pump as many as 6.3 million gallons a day, averages a flow rate of some 50,400 gallons per hour. Oil slicks across a combined nine miles have stretched along the Santa Barbara coastline.

Officials estimate it will take three days or more to clean up the spill and assess damage. Santa Barbara is host to several of the world's most famous surf spots including Rincon Point.

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