The 105,000 gallon spill of crude petroleum on May 19th that closed miles of California beaches in time for Memorial Day weekend was caused by a ruptured pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline, a known, repeat offender. Tuesday’s spill in the Santa Barbara area is five times the company’s estimate of a worst case scenario. Crews are working around the clock to contain the spill, capture oil, clean beaches and rescue wildlife. Federal and state enforcement authorities are already conducting an investigation. The images below are courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard and Getty Images.
Oil covers Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, California. Via U.S. Coast Guard.
An environmental cleanup crew helps with the clearing of oil-tainted items found at Refugio State Beach on May 21.
A cleanup worker cleans oil from the rocks and beach at Refugio State Beach
An oil-covered lobster lies dead on Refugio State Beach.
A bird covered in oil spreads its wings as it sits on a rock near Refugio State Beach on May 22.
Volunteers and staff of the International Bird Rescue use a toothbrush and soap to clean oil off a brown pelican in the San Pedro area of Los Angeles, California on May 22.
SeaWorld San Diego animal care specialist Nick Northcraft washes a sea lion affected by the Santa Barbara oil spill at SeaWorld San Diego’s Oiled Wildlife Care Center on May 22. It died the following day.