Globs of oil wash ashore on southern California beach

Reuters News
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Posted: May 28, 2015 12:26 AM

(Reuters) - Local and federal officials are investigating globs of oil washed up on a southern California beach on Wednesday, officials said.

U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Michael Anderson said crews were investigating the streak of tar balls that spread across about 6.5 miles (10 km) of Manhattan Beach, just southwest of Los Angeles.

He said crews had also identified another collection of the globs floating a few miles off the coast, which was believed to be connected.

The news comes just a week after an oil pipeline ruptured in Santa Barbara, dumping as much as 2,400 barrels (101,000 gallons, or 382,000 liters) of crude onto a pristine stretch of the coastline and into the Pacific, leaving slicks that stretched more than 9 miles (14 km) along the coast.

It was not immediately clear whether the two events were linked, Anderson said, adding that the Coast Guard was testing samples of the petroleum product to determine where it came from and how it got there.

The Los Angeles Department of Public Health said in a statement that a stretch of shoreline between Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach was closed due to the oil.

The county fire department said lifeguards reported seeing the substance wash ashore around 10 a.m., and continuing until about noon.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Coast Guard ordered the company at the center of the Santa Barbara oil spill to continue its efforts to clean up the pipeline breach.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)