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Huntington Beach Oil Spill Timeline

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — An oil spill several miles off the coast of Orange County has quickly become an ecological disaster.

OC Coastline Closed As Crews Work To Contain 'Potential Ecological Disaster'
(Nick Ut/Getty Images)

Reports of the 126,000-gallon oil spill first came in Saturday afternoon from Newport Beach, but the origin of the spill was traced back to a rig in federal waters, severely impacting Huntington Beach.

Friday, 7:40 p.m.: Newport Beach police acknowledges receiving several calls about a smell of gas throughout the city. Fire and police sent out to investigate.

8:22 p.m.: A sheen in the water is reported near a ship's anchorage, three miles off shore from Long Beach, according to the California Governor's Office Of Emergency Hazardous Materials Spill Reports.

Saturday, 9:17 a.m.: A caller in Newport Beach,  reports a 34-by-9-foot stretch of oil in the Pacific Ocean, headed toward Laguna Beach, according to Office Of Emergency Hazardous Materials Spill Reports.

10:36a.m.: Oxnard-based oil and gas company DCOR reports from Huntington Beach they've spotted a sheen under platform Eva that appears to be moving east. Oil slick reported to be 100 by 100 feet, according to Office Of Emergency Hazardous Materials Spill Reports.

12:15 p.m.: The U.S. Coast Guard tweets they are responding to an oil slick approximately 13 square miles in size off Newport Beach.

3:20 p.m.: The city of Newport Beach tweets that they are monitoring the oil spill about 3-4 miles off the coast, but that it is expected to dissipate through wind, sun, and wave action and not come ashore.

3:50 p.m.: The city of Huntington Beach tweets they have been made aware of an oil spill that is being actively managed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

7:20 p.m.: The city of Huntington Beach closes its beaches from the Santa Ana River jetty to the pier.

8:57 p.m.: Newport Beach reverses on earlier statement, oil spill projected to come ashore at a location between Balboa Pier and Corona del Mar Main Beach.

9:50 p.m.: California Department Of Fish & Wildlife establishes a unified command consisting of Beta Offshore, the Coast Guard, CDFW's Office of Spill Prevention and Response, with the cities of Long Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department assisting.

OC Coastline Closed As Crews Work To Contain 'Potential Ecological Disaster'
A warning sign is posted near oil washed up on Huntington State Beach after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an offshore oil platform on October 3, 2021 in Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sefa Degirmenci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Sunday, 1 a.m.: Huntington Beach cancels the final day of the Pacific Airshow, and asks people to remain clear of the beach and to avoid oiled areas due to its toxicity. The city has deployed skimming equipment and booms to try to hold back the soil slick plume, which is an estimated 5.8 nautical miles, from reaching its wetlands, the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, and other sensitive marine environments.

8:12 p.m.: An incident management team made up of federal, state, and regional agencies deploys professional cleanup crews, skimming boats, and volunteer cleanup efforts.

9:44 p.m.: Huntington Beach says Amplify Energy Corp., which owns the rig the spill originated from, will assist with the cleanup.

10:25 p.m.: Southern California's fisheries are shut down, and CDFW warns against consuming any fish or shellfish caught off the coast of Orange County.

Monday, 9:50 a.m.: First oiled birds are brought for care at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center.

10:12 a.m.: Laguna Beach closes all its beaches, including county-operated beaches.

9:23 a.m.: Rep. Mike Levin, D-Dana Point, renews his call to ban any new offshore drilling off Southern California.

11:20 a.m.: Newport Beach closes its harbor to all boat traffic, and Bayside Beach.

Tuesday, 9:20 a.m.: Dana Point Harbor closed indefinitely.

10 a.m.: Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaims a state of emergency in Orange County to facilitate clean up and recovery.

12:30 p.m.: Unified Command says divers and remotely-operated vehicles found the pipeline the oil spill originated from had been moved 105 feet and had a 13-inch along its length.

Wednesday: The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating whether the anchor of the Rotterdam Express, a German cargo ship, may have snagged on the pipeline and damaged it.

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