October 2021 Oil Spill Updates (Pipeline P00547 Incident)
OCH is doing its best to keep the community updated on the status of the October 3, 2021 Oil Spill (Pipeline P00547 Incident) off the Huntington Beach coastline. Our local and federal agencies have risen to the call as well as our community volunteers by performing necessary cleanup, restoration, rescue, and rehabilitation. Although the spill is believed to be much smaller than originally thought, the impacts to habitat and species was still severe as we know we lost over 80 species and likely more that were not recovered. As the cleanup slows down but continues along our shores, much is still to be done for repair and restoration. We ask our supporters and followers to be mindful that hazards may still exist as you traverse our local beaches and to not touch tarballs or injured/oiled animals but to report through the number and email below.
Oiled Wildlife Hotline: 1-877-UCD-OWCN (1-877-823-6926).
Tarball Report Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Include latitude and longitude and measurement perspective (pen, shoe, etc)
For more information (general): https://socalspillresponse.com/
November 30, 2021
It has been determined by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that there is no further risk to public health related to seafood consumption and the is being lifted today at noon (12pm).
Cleanup efforts are still ongoing and mainly focused on collecting tar balls along the shoreline in Orange and San Diego Counties. As of November 29th, the Unified Command team completed assessments of 69 segments. A graphic explaining Phases of Oil Spill Response and a Cleanup Endpoints Fact Sheet are available on the response website.
Waste Management will be conducted by the responsible party who will recycle or dispose of all spill-related wastes generated as a result of this incident.
Recently there have been a number of unsponsored cleanup events related to tar ball cleanup. To remind the public, oil contains a host of hazardous chemicals and should not be touched or picked up by the public for health and safety reasons. We understand your concern and desire to help but prefer that you report tar balls to the tar ball report email above instead of hosting your own cleanup. Groups are encouraged to do beach cleanups but please avoid picking up oil and tar.
November 23, 2021 - Oil Sheen Update:
No sheen or oil droplets observed since Saturday, November 20th.
A new wrap with an epoxy-type sealant was installed on Saturday. Monitoring is ongoing to ensure effectiveness. A work barge with oil spill response resources will remain on-scene for the coming days as an additional contingency. While no shoreline impacts are expected from the sheen, out of an abundance of caution, USCG and OSPR pollution responders will survey shorelines that had received signoff last week to ensure they continue to meet cleanup endpoints.
Pipeline repair plan has been submitted to Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for approval, determination should be within the coming week.
Seafood sampling update: OEHAA expects to receive the final results from the lab the week after Thanksgiving and will prioritize the risk assessment. If the assessment indicates there is no risk to public health, CDFW is prepared to lift the closure as soon as possible. Based on this updated timeline, it is possible a recommendation may not be made until the first week of December.
November 22, 2021
Oil Sheen Observed: On November 20, crews scheduled for planned work on the pipeline observed and reported a sheen of 30’ by 70’ as they approached the area of the line. Divers conducting the planned assessments on the line then discovered small droplets on the syntho-glass wrap. Unified Command deployed pollution responders and oil spill response organization assets to investigate the sheen and whether it was related to the pipeline. The pipeline has remained shut down since the initial incident on October 2. Investigation is ongoing to determine where the reported sheen is coming from. At 1600, the Unified Command directed an overflight of the area and no oil sightings were found on this overflight. Divers conducted assessment of the pipeline on Sunday morning. Two overflights were conducted including one midday on 11-21 with all resulting in no oil sighted. An on-water response vessel remained on-station over-night and was released midday after the overflight.
There have been no animals found since the last update and no live animals are currently in the care of rehabilitators, so wildlife operations have demobilized.
November 15, 2021
Incident Update: In accordance with the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration (PHMSA) corrective action order, Amplify Energy through their subsidiary, Beta Offshore, has secured
the pipeline from leaking. Amplify is actively working with metallurgists and engineers to prepare a repair plan for
submittal to PHMSA for review and approval. These works are still in progress. Inspections of the pipeline have been
performed as a necessary first step in obtaining PHMSA approval for a temporary repair in order to re-pressurize the
pipeline for de-oiling operations. The planned next steps include proposing repair plans to PHMSA, securing approval
for same, and then mobilizing to complete that phase of the work. Response efforts continue from Long Beach to La
Jolla to include Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams and work crews, monitoring, inspecting, and spot cleaning the
beaches. All responders are donning appropriate personal protective equipment. A separate investigation effort has
been established for the cause of the incident.
Species Updates: We are keeping an updated record of species affected so that the public remembers that this incident's residual damage continues to have impacts and will continue to do so for a long time.
Oiled Wildlife Impacts: 1)Captured = 36, 2) Cleaned = 28 3) Released = 24 4) DOA = 105* 5) Died in Facility: 12*
*Species include variety of birds, dolphin and fence lizard. Wildlife field operations have been demobilized. Ongoing care of remaining birds continues at San Pedro (International Bird Rescue) facility. One recaptured Western Snowy Plover remains in care. We encourage beach-goers to continue to report injured and oiled wildlife.
Report oiled wildlife to 1-877-UCD-OWCN (1-877-823-6926).
November 8, 2021
Efforts are still being made in our cleanup of the OC Oil Spill. We have seen a reduction in the number of species directly affected by the spill and the Wildlife Field Operations have been demobilized. Ongoing care of the remaining oiled birds continues at San Pedro facility.
We ask the public to continue to notify agencies of oiled species and tarballs on beaches and estuaries by contacting the numbers and emails s above. When you report please include as much location detail as possible and pictures if you are able. All of this information is helpful in getting appropriate teams out to the site and species as quickly as possible.
OC Habitats will continue to update this page once a week through November. Many local organizations are looking for volunteers to help with restorations around Orange County including OC Habitats. If you are looking to volunteer, click here.
November 1, 2021
SCAT (Shoreline Cleanup Asses.Teams) continue to work on OC and San Diego sites.
A separate investigation effort has been established for the cause of the incident.
Minimum oil spill release volume = 24,696 gallons
Offshore Recovered: 5,544 gallons, 13.6 bbls
Onshore Recovered (Sandy/Debris): 532,522 lbs
Oiled Wildlife Impacts: 1)Captured = 36, 2) Cleaned = 26 3) Released = 22 4) DOA = 105* 5) Died in Facility: 11*
*Species include variety of birds, dolphin and fence lizard
Wildlife Field operations continues through at least Monday, November 1, 2021. If no oiled animals are collected, field operations will cease.
October Timeline of OC Oil Spill - Pipeline P00547 Incident
October 27, 2021
In accordance with the corrective action PHMSA order, Amplify Energy through their subsidiary, Beta offshore has secured the pipeline from leaking and is proceeding with repair plans in close coordination with the Unified Command. Response efforts continue from Long Beach to La Jolla to include Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams (SCAT) and work crews equipped in protective gear, monitoring, inspecting, and spot cleaning the beaches. A separate investigation effort has been established for the cause of the incident.
Collected Oil: Liquid - Offshore: 5,544 gallons, Tarballs - 13.6 bbls, and Shoreline: Oily/Sandy Debris - 520,062 lbs
Species Recovery: 34 Captured, 26 Cleaned, 19 released, 101 DOA, Euthanized or Other 10
5 of 7 federally threatened Snowy Plovers have been released.
During OCH's ongoing habitat surveys, several tarballs and oiled species have been found and reported in the last week in Huntington Beach and Crystal Cove.
October 21, 2021
Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) - State Parks/beaches cleared: Bolsa Chica and Huntington Beach
In process: CdM, Crystal Cove, Doheny, San Juan Capistrano and San Onofre
Using drones to help monitor sites that are unsafe/inaccessible/sensitive
Rock scraping is happening at several locations in the upper tidal (high beach)
Many (if not all) Scientific Collectors Permits may have been suspended at this time through CDFW. Check the status of your permits to ensure you are in compliance.
Collected Oil: Liquid - Offshore: 5,544 gallons, Tarballs - 13.6 bbls, and Shoreline: Oily/Sandy Debris - 490,532 lbs
Species Recovery: 33 Captured, 26 Cleaned, 17 released, 95 DOA, Euthanized or Other 10
5 of 7 federally threatened Snowy Plovers have been released.
October 20, 2021
OCH has been surveying both Newport and Huntington Beaches in the last week and although the oil deposits are less obvious we are still seeing dead birds, dirty water, and oil/tar patches along the shore. We caution all beachgoers and dog owners to be careful with exposure to contaminated water and sand and wash your exposed skin and your pets paws thoroughly after contact with water or wet sand.
Dr. Clayton Chau, county Health Officer and county Health Care Agency Director urges caution: “Based on the recent results of our air and water quality samples, we ask that our residents and visitors exercise caution if you are resuming recreational activities at our beaches in order to limit the risk of contaminants being absorbed through the skin, inhalation, or ingestion.” (Voice of OC)
The public may encounter tar balls on San Diego and Orange County beaches. Oil contains hazardous chemicals, and for safety reasons, community members should NOT attempt to touch/pick up any tar balls or oil. A tar ball fact sheet in both English and Spanish can be found at the following location, https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=29232&inline, and see the infographic at the end of this document with more linked factsheets. Please email email@example.com or use the “Report Tar balls” link on socalspillresponse.com if oil is observed on the shoreline.
Oil Spill has been determined to be 24,696 gallons
Collected Oil: Liquid - 5,544 gallons, Tarballs - 13.6 bbls, and Oily/Sandy Debris - 483,892 lbs
Species Recovery: 33 Captured, 26 Cleaned, 10 released, 95 DOA, Euthanized or Other 10
For a comprehensive list of species and daily updates on impacted wildlife recovered during response activities are available at https://owcn.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/pipeline-p00547-incident
All boom strategies, with the exception of Talbert Marsh, have been removed as they no longer provide continued environmental benefit (Unified Command Team). Talbert Marsh boom is scheduled to be removed today, October 20th at high tide.
A fisheries closure remains, which prohibits the catch and consumption of any and all fish and
shellfish within the area of the closure. Please see additional fisheries closure information and a
closure map at www.socalspillresponse.com/fisheries-closure.
Donations: Ocean Institute, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, OC Coastkeeper, Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy (through OCH) and International Bird Rescue are collecting in-kind and monetary donations to support wildlife rescue. There has been an outpouring of volunteer support (over 10,000 people).If you are unable to help directly with the oil spill, we recommend volunteering with one of our local conservation nonprofits in Orange County, including OC Habitats.
October 14, 2021
On October 13th, the NOAA Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Program (MMHSRP) regional coordinator reported to the Wildlife Branch that a live northern right whale dolphin had stranded at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro (the west end of LA/Long Beach Harbor). The MMHSRP deployed staff from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) for evaluation. Upon veterinary examination, it was found to be in poor condition and was not a candidate for rehabilitation, so was humanely euthanized in the field.
197 Vessels need to be cleaned of oil
All OC beaches are open, be careful about touching or ingesting oil saturated water or tarballs on the sand.
Update on spill amount: Seven agencies (USCG, PHMSA, California Department of Fish and
Wildlife, NOAA, California State Lands, State Fire Marshall, and BSEE) agree that the spill was approximately 24,696 gallons.
Booming strategies are being evaluated in Bolsa Chica Restored Wetlands, Talbert Marsh, Anaheim Bay, Newport Slough Wetland, Santa Ana River, Aliso Creek to determine if they are continuing to be effective.
A fisheries closure remains, which prohibits the catch and consumption of any and all fish
caught in the area of the closure. Please see additional fisheries closure
information at www.socalspillresponse.com/fisheries-closure. The revised closure area
Point A (West Jetty of Anaheim Bay; 33° 44.250’ N, 118° 06.000' W) to;
Point B (offshore; 33° 38.000’ N, 118° 10.000’ W) to;
Point C (offshore; 33° 11.000’ N, 117° 54.500' W) to;
Point D (offshore; 33° 11.000’ N, 117° 44.750' W) to;
Point E (near the southern border of San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant; 33°21.750’
N, 117° 32.250' W)
This includes the coastal areas along the boundary, including shorelines; all bays and harbors
extending from the boundary in an inland direction; and offshore areas enclosed by the
boundary. This includes fishing from shorelines and boats. OEHHA also advises that fishing be avoided in areas where there is visible sheen on the water. CDFW will re-open fisheries when
testing determines that the seafood is safe to eat.
October 12, 2021
Beachgoers in San Diego and Orange County are advised to be aware that forecasted strong winds this evening and associated wave action may increase the number of tar balls washing ashore. If you see tar balls, please contact our clean up teams at firstname.lastname@example.org.Beachgoers in San Diego and Orange County are advised to be aware that forecasted strong winds this evening and associated wave action may increase the number of tar balls washing ashore. If you see tar balls, please contact our clean up teams at email@example.com.
Oil contains hazardous chemicals, and for safety reasons, we ask the public not to handle any tar balls or oil.
Containment booms were placed in front of the mouths of the Batiquitos, San Elijo, and San Dieguito lagoons similar to those at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon and Santa Margarita River.
October 11, 2021
Recovered Oil Waste: 5,544 gallons (skimming), 13.6 bbls (tar balls), 270,000lbs (sand/debris)
Species Recovery: 22 oiled birds are in recovery, 5 oiled birds died after capture, 47 oiled birds were dead on arrival, 9 fish were dead on arrival, No mammals or reptiles have been found to date
Mouth of Santa Ana river berm was opened up 10.10.21
Huntington Beach Wetlands Talbert Marsh inlet was opened up 10.8.21
Huntington Beach City and State beaches have been opened to the public on 10.11.21
City of Newport and Laguna Beaches are open but advises to steer clear of wet sand and water
City of Dana Point - all beaches are open except for Capistrano and Poche Beaches (for construction reasons)
October 10, 2021
To date, 5,544 total gallons of crude oil have been recovered by vessel.
13.5 barrels of tar balls were recovered Friday.
Approximately 232,500 lbs. of oily debris has been recovered from shorelines.
11,400 feet of containment boom have been strategically deployed.
Temporary flight restriction has been lifted (as of Friday, October 8, 2021)
The size of the leak was estimated to be 144,000 gallons but officials believe it might be less, somewhere between 25,000 and 132,000 gallons.
5 oiled birds have died after capture
22 oiled birds were rescued and are recovering at wildlife facilities (7 of which are listed Western Snowy Plover, Charadrius nivosus nivosus)
Crude oil is drifting south up to 50 miles (San Diego County)
Crude oil can have long term effects on the ocean and its habitats and species.
October 8, 2021
Of the estimated 144,480 gallons of oil/tar spill, 5544 gallons of oil has been recovered, mainly from the shores of our local beaches.
24 oiled birds have been found, 19 of which are in recovery and 5 have died.
Water testing is being conducted to determine if ocean waters are safe for humans and for the adjacent wetlands that rely on them.
Donations are being collected by several groups for recovery and restoration (see above in green)
For more spill updates visit: For more oil spill updates as of 10/7: bit.ly/3iK7ne7
October 7, 2021
Volunteer for Cleanups (steps)
Click here to register to be a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources volunteer. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that you'll be deployed. Once you've signed up, the following may happen based on need:
Within the next few days, a 30-minute training session will be sent to you to prepare you to participate in a "pre-incident cleanup." Before oil impacts a section of shoreline, volunteers are deployed to clean up trash and debris, speeding along restoration efforts done by professionals. The training must be complete before you can help out.
If the CDFW determines they need assistance removing tarballs, an additional 4-hour training session will be made available. Tarballs are toxic, solid patches of oil that are pushed onto our shorelines by waves. They devastate our shorebirds, such as the beloved Western Snowy Plover.
You must complete volunteer training before you are deployed as a cleanup volunteer. We urge you to complete these as soon as they are released.
October 6, 2021
CDFW's Unified Command has some volunteer options for trained volunteers and the public. Please visit https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/Volunteer/login to find out more and register. When you register you will be prompted to complete a 30 minute training for cleanups and, if needed, a 4 hours training on tar ball removal.
Unified command is hoping to have 1,500 people supporting cleanup by the end of the week.
The Unified Command revealed today that they have identified the source of the leak – a 13” lateral gash was found in the 16” concrete encased pipeline. The pipeline was also displaced by 105 feet.
Talbert Marsh (one of the HB Wetlands Conservancy marshes) is being hit the hardest of all the inland habitats.
Bolsa Chica Ecol. Reserve, so far, has no oil within the marsh.
City of Huntington Beach has launched a webpage with detailed updates of the status of the oil spill. Visit: https://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/residents/oil-spill-response/
October 5, 2021
Gavin Newsom has declared a local state of emergency for Orange County due to Pipeline P00547 Incident (Huntington Beach) - October 2021 Oil Spill.
Donations: Ocean Institute, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, OC Coastkeeper, Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy (through OCH) and International Bird Rescue are collecting in-kind and monetary donations to support wildlife rescue. If you are interested in helping- https://socalspillresponse.com/.
Southern California Fisheries are Closed until the Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has determined otherwise
Beach Closures: Huntington Beach (City and State), Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach (soft close)
Volunteer Opportunities will come, once we have clearance to get the public on the ground we will post our opportunities here, our social media, and via email.
October 3, 2021 - Oil Spill occurred off the coast of Huntington Beach; Pipeline P00547 Incident