The cost of cleaning up last month’s oil spill that fouled beaches along the Santa Barbara coast has reached $62 million, according to the operator of the ruptured pipeline, Texas-based Plaints All American.
What’s the Problem?
June 11, 2015 – Cleanup costs are running at $3 million per day, and there is still no timeframe for when the process will be completed, Plains’ on-scene coordinator Patrick Hodgins told The Associated Press.
“The responsibility here is to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible,” Hodgins said.
Plains is responsible for paying for the cleanup after a pipeline near Santa Barbara ruptured May 19, leaking up to 101,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean, which forced a local fishing ban and the closure of 2 state beaches.
At least 161 dead birds and 87 dead marine mammals have been recovered. Another 106 animals were found coated in oil and are being treated, according to wildlife experts.
The cause of the oil spill is still being investigated, but newly released documents said testing performed before the break uncovered extensive external corrosion along some sections of the pipeline.
About 76% of nearly 100 miles of coastline have been cleared of oil. Crews are using putty knives and other small tools in a labor-intensive effort to scrape oil off rocks and cobble beaches, a process complicated by the ocean’s tides.
“The beaches are fairly clean,” said Coast Guard Captain and federal response coordinator Jennifer Williams. “We’re making progress on the shoreline cleanup.”