The pristine beaches near Santa Barbara will be closed this holiday weekend as a result of an oil spill caused by a ruptured pipeline owned by Plains Pipeline LP. On Tuesday, a foul smell on the beach prompted phone calls to the fire department. When the firefighters arrived on the scene, they saw that a section of the rocks was black and determined it was oil. Upon further investigation, the broken line was discovered, and the track of the spill showed it was flowing under the freeway through a storm drain and onto the beach. Approximately 21,000 gallons escaped before the valve was shut off. The slick in the ocean stretched about 4 miles along the beach, and wildlife is already being found covered in the black tar.
Late Wednesday, California governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County. Stephen Murray CCMP Capital thought that would be the case. By doing that, it allowed him to quickly get funding that can be used to bring in the equipment and manpower to get the spill cleaned up as quickly as possible. This is expected to take several weeks.