Pat's Perspective

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Dear Neighbor,

Significant progress has been made towards containing and cleaning up the oil spill that originated off the coast of Orange County. Here are the facts:
  • More than 1,600 people are conducting response operations;
  • 5,544 gallons of crude oil have been recovered by vessel;
  • Approximately 250,000 pounds of oily debris have been recovered from shorelines;
  • Shorelines continue to be surveyed and cleaned; and
  • 11,400 feet of containment boom have been strategically deployed.
 
Image of Workers conducting oil removal operations off Orange County beaches.
Workers conduct oil removal operations off Orange County beaches.
Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard 
 
The affected pipeline that caused the spill remains shut down and oil is not being released from the damaged section. Evidence suggests that the anchor of a cargo ship hit a pipeline.

Assemblywoman Janet Nguyen and I have requested the federal agency overseeing pipeline safety to conduct a full and transparent investigation of its own into the oil spill. Click here to read our letter.

California must protect the interests of residents and businesses that rely on our coast for commerce and recreation. I will continue to work to find answers, ensure transparency and accountability, and help affected communities recover from the spill. 
 
Tarballs:
 
Informational graphic with QR code
 
The public may encounter tarballs on beaches. Oil contains hazardous chemicals, and for safety reasons, community members should NOT attempt to touch/pick up any tarballs or oil. 

If skin contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water or baby oil. Avoid using solvents, gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, or similar products on the skin. These products, when applied to skin, present a greater health hazard than the tarball itself. 

Please email tarballreports@wildlife.ca.gov if oil is observed on the shoreline, and include the following information in your email:
  1. Date the oil was observed;
  2. Time the oil was observed;
  3. Specific location of the observed oil (preferably GPS coordinates);
  4. A few descriptive photographs of the oil;
  5. Estimated quantity; and
  6. Contact information for follow-up.
For more information on tarballs, click here.

Other information of note:
  • Dana Point Harbor and Newport Beach Harbor have reopened. Click here for more information.
  • Community members affected by the spill who need to file a claim can call 1.866.985.8366.
  • The Governor’s State of Emergency declaration makes financial help available for businesses affected by the spill. Click here for more information.
  • I successfully pushed for boom deployment at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant to help protect water supplies. Thank you to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for their responsiveness to my request and those of other officials.
  • The state’s portal to register volunteers for spill clean-up efforts has closed due to having received more than 10,000 volunteer registrations, which fulfills current needs. Thank you to everyone who has registered. Click here for more information.
Given the rapidly evolving nature of the spill and response efforts, please visit socalspillresponse.com for the latest information.
 
Sincerely, 

Pat

PATRICIA C. BATES
Senator, 36th District