El Capitan State Beach to Reopen After Santa Barbara Oil Spill

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A popular Central California beach closed after last month’s oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast is set to reopen next week, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

What’s the Problem?

June 19, 2015 – El Capitan State Beach is about 3 miles east of where the pipeline ruptured May 19, leaking up to 101,000 gallons of crude oil. About 21,000 gallons flowed into the Pacific Ocean, creating a 9-mile slick along the coastline.

The beach will reopen June 26, according to officials. Refugio State Beach, which is adjacent to where the oil spill occurred, will remain closed throughout at least the first week of July.

Plains All American Pipeline, the company that operates the broken pipe, has declined to speculate as to the cause of the rupture while it is being investigated. Photos reveal extensive corrosion may have played a role.

Nearly 300 dead birds and marine mammals have been recovered from the spill area. On Thursday, regulators completed flushing the ruptured pipeline, which should allow investigators to determine how much oil was spilled.

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