Huntington Beach will reopen the beach after an oil spill last week

State and local beaches opened at 6 a.m. Monday after a pipeline poured thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean.

Authorities said they found at least 5,544 gallons of oil and 13.6 barrels of tar balls. In the worst case scenario, they say, more than 131,000 gallons may have been spilled.

Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said in a statement: “The health and safety of our residents and visitors is extremely important. We understand the importance of our beaches to tourism, our economy and our lives in general. ” The decision to reopen our beaches and water is based on information and it is important that we continue to monitor the quality of the water in the future.

Coastal travelers should be wary of dangerous odors and avoid areas with oily materials and tar balls.

The Oil Wildlife Network (OCN) reported a total of 65 birds, 38 of which were found dead. The OWCN reported nine dead fish.

Opens state investigation

The California Department of Justice is investigating the case, Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement Monday.

The state DOJ is working with other federal, state, and local authorities to determine the cause of the leak, and is reviewing whether the state of emergency can be prevented or reduced, the department said in a statement.

“The oil spill on Huntington Beach is a major environmental threat to our fish and wildlife, our communities and our economy,” Bonta said. This office is committed to providing the necessary people and resources to fully investigate this environmental catastrophe, and we will follow the facts wherever they lead us.

The crack may have occurred a year ago

Jason Nubair, head of the Bureau of Coastal Investigation and Analysis for the U.S. Coast Guard, said the pipeline was fully completed in October 2020 before it was damaged by 105 feet.

They believe that the 13-inch linear crack may have been caused by the ship’s anchor being pulled by the sea.

A video released by Coast Guard on Thursday shows marine growth on a damaged concrete pipeline. Neubauer explained that the fracture in the pipeline could be a gradual crack, which was getting worse over time.

“This event could be hit by a number of incidents and pipelines after the first incident,” Nubaur said.

Investigators are also investigating geological events, including severe weather, in mid-January, which may have contributed to the crack. The pipe section will be taken to the National Transportation Safety Board laboratory, so investigators will determine when and how the leak occurred.

During the last ten years of similar anchor strikes, Nubaur said only one incident caused an oil spill.

CNN’s Alexandra Max, Stella Chan and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.

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