The cleanup continues along Santa Barbara’s sullied beaches following the spill of some 2500 barrels of oil onto the land and into the sea.
About a fifth of the spill is thought to have made its way into the Pacific, and coastguards say restoring the sands and waters to health could take months.
“Skimming vessels have so far recovered 7,700 gallons of an oily water mixture, and we’ve removed 90 feet of contaminated soil in the area of the release. We anticipate that we have about 300 more feet of soil to remove from around the pipeline,” sand the senior Director of Operations for the Plains All-American Pipeline company Rick McMichael.
The pipeline was built in 1987 to take crude south from the energy-rich Californian coastal zone for refining in Texas.
“I’m the chair of the local Sierra club, but I’m also a mom that lives out in Goleta near where this happened, and that beach is a place that my kids grew up there. We go camping there with my kids’ class and watch the whales and dolphins offshore, so it is really sickening to see the devastation along our coastline,“said Katie Davies.
Ecologists are furious that this last pristine outpost of southern California, with a rare climate and valuable wildlife, has been devastated. They say it proves big oil companies cannot regulate themselves.