CALIFORNIA—According to lab results released on Friday, June 26 by Plains All American Pipeline, some of the tar washing into Southern California beaches matches the spilled crude oil released from a ruptured pipeline offshore.
On May 19, the Houston-based corporation sent 21,000 gallons of crude oil into the California coastline. Plains claims to have spent $96 million cleaning up the spill. Senior Director of Safety and Security for the company, Patrick Hodgins, said “Although 94 percent of the impacted shoreline has reached its end-point clean-up objective, we recognize that the last 6 percent will be the hardest. I assure you that we will stick with this cleanup until it is done.”
The results show that areas as far as a 100 miles away from the spill were affected. They described that the beaches affected during the first week of the spill, from Gaviota, California to El Capitan State Beach in Santa Barbara, no longer have petroleum globs flowing in, though tar matching Line 901 crude was collected in that area between May 19 and May 25.
Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles was reported as being unaffected by the Plains oil leak during the first week, but tar balls collected there on May 27 matched the spilled crude.
The reports were released as scrutiny of the incident by state and federal lawmakers increased and renewed questions about Plains’ swiftness in responding to the spill emerged. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has asked for the pipeline’s maintenance history and lawmakers in Washington D.C. have been investigating Plains’ timeline of the incident.