Oil Spills

An oil spill occurred near Santa Barbara, California. The oil spilled from an on-shore pipeline that broke and leaked into a storm drain which unloads into the Pacific Ocean. The size of the spill has been estimated to be over one-thousand gallons. The spill was uncovered due to people experiences a stench while on the beach alerting authorities. The spill was found to have spread to nine miles.
Oil spills can affect living organisms because of its chemical components are toxic .Through exposure to oil these toxic chemicals can affect organisms either when they are inhaled, through skin contact or by ingestion. In addition thick oils such as crude oil can suffocate many marine organisms. Fish may be affected either through direct contact or
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Wildlife officials are reported to have recovered one-hundred and sixty eight birds and marine mammals that were covered in oil. Almost half of the animals were said to be dead. It reported that great influxes of Biologist are actively trying to rescue marine organisms with the aid of volunteers although the process proves to be time consuming and frustrating. Environmentalist, Biologists and residents of the area are angered by the incident since it is the second time an incident like this has occurred in the region, the first being an oil spill in 1969. Lawmakers and conservationist are also questioning whether enough is being done to fix the damage. In addition almost a week after the spill had occurred oil blobs and tar balls washed up on the shores in the counties of Los Angeles and Ventura causing there to be a temporary shutdown of the beaches. Recently these tar balls were also found on Long beach, California and are being tested to analyze whether they were caused by the oil spill. Questions are being raised about whether volunteers started soon enough and whether they are working fast enough to combat the issue whereas, there are now organizations which question the safety of these volunteers. There are reports that volunteers are directly coming into contact with the toxic compounds during cleanup and using their bare hands to handle the oil compounds. Environmental groups are warning about the health impacts when volunteers are improperly trained. The company Plain All American Pipeline are said to have violated safety regulations due to extensive external corrosion in their pipes. They are reported to have surpassed four major US oil spills. The spokesman for the company refutes this claim stating that the comparison is unfair since the company is larger than the companies responsible for those four

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