Plains All American Pipeline provided the following update as cleanup operations continued near Goleta, Calif. This update is for the Sunday, May 31 work period and is attributable to Pat Hodgins, senior director, Safety & Security, Plains All American Pipeline, who is serving as the Plains Incident Commander and its representative within Unified Command.
Plains deeply regrets that this unfortunate incident occurred, and we are sorry for the resulting impact to the environment and wildlife, as well as for any disruption caused to residents and visitors. Plains is committed to doing everything in our power to make this right.
Unified Command has entered into a 48-hour planning stage, an indicator that the management of the response effort is moving into a steadier phase of activity. Approximately 1,200 people worked on the response across the five work zones and in the Incident Command Post. More than 1,000 people were in the field. Nearly 200 people, including federal, state and local agency partners, were managing the operations in the command center.
The following is an update on activity in the work zones on Sunday, May 31:
- On the water, we resumed efforts to track down the remaining oil above and below the surface and along the shoreline. 18 vessels were involved in recovering the remaining oil on the surface of the water. 10,600 feet of booms were deployed to capture the sheen and protect the shore.
- Regarding submerged oil, Unified Command divers reported they did not find oil during dives Saturday and Sunday. They searched more than 10 areas that were most likely to contain submerged oil based on expert analysis and local knowledge of the area. Diving operations have been suspended until further notice.
- Regarding the remaining visible oil, much of it remains near the shoreline. As the tides ebb and flow, this oil is being churned up by the wave action. We continue to maintain teams on the beach to capture the oil as it comes to shore.
- Four teams of recovery experts conducted regular shoreline cleanup assessments to direct the deployment of work crews and determine the best methods of removing the oil.
- Approximately 700 workers were cleaning the beaches. In Santa Barbara County, they were collecting oiled seaweed and kelp from the shoreline as well as manually cleaning oil from the stationary rocks in the affected areas.
- In Ventura County, Unified Command is still awaiting final test results that should help identify the source of the oily material washing up on shore. Until we know more, Plains is responding as if this is related to the Refugio incident and commits to do what is necessary to clean Ventura’s beaches.
- Work teams were dispatched to clean affected areas in Ventura County, including Ventura Pier and Oxnard Shores. The crews are being careful not to disturb the nesting areas of the snowy plovers.
- In the area west of the southbound 101, we began to prepare the area for cleanup activities.
- When work crews begin to clean the area near the highway on Monday, motorists and passers-by may notice an odor as the oiled soil is excavated and removed.
- We have largely completed the initial cleanup and are continuing to monitor the area to determine whether additional work is necessary.
- The work to remove the oiled soil from the berm that runs alongside the starting point of the culvert was completed. This area will be re-evaluated in the coming days.
- Regarding the pipeline, over the next few days, we will complete cleanup and cover the exposed section of pipe with clean soil.
- For those who have questions or who would like to submit a claim, please call 866-753-3619. We are actively addressing claims as they are received.
- We regret any impact this unfortunate accidental release has caused and are working diligently to provide relief.