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Asbestos in Orange County's Water Systems and Its Impact on Nature, Wildlife, and Human Health

Orange County, a region celebrated for its natural beauty and vibrant ecosystems, faces a looming environmental challenge that often goes unnoticed: asbestos contamination in its water systems. Asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous mineral, is not limited to dry land; it can infiltrate water systems through various means, including weathering of asbestos-containing rocks, erosion, and human activities. The presence of asbestos in Orange County's water sources is a growing concern with far-reaching consequences. This hazardous mineral, notorious for its adverse health effects on humans, has found its way into the county's water sources, posing a triple threat to the environment, wildlife, and human health. Click here to learn more about this critical issue in our county. You can also visit this website for more information.

Start 2021 (Manmade and Natural)

OCH is continuing to update our Oil Spill page as new spill, sheen, or tarball sightings come in. This page was initiated with the October Oil Spill incident off the shores of Huntington Beach in October 2021. The shoreline work has been completed and now long term assessments continue to be made and the continuation of recovery to restoration around our marine, coastal, estuarine, and wetland ecosystems. We ask our followers and supporters mindful of potential hazards that may still exist as you traverse our local beaches and to not touch tar balls or injured/oiled animals but to report through the numbers below.


State and federal trustee agencies for natural resources impacted by the October 2021 Pipeline P00547 oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach in Southern California are hosting two virtual information meetings to update the public on the damage assessment effort and to solicit input for potential restoration actions. 


The agencies will host two sessions on Jan. 25, at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST. Click a link to register for one of the timeslots: 


9 a.m. PST 

6 p.m. PST 


Please see the press release below for more information, and email with any questions.


Oiled Wildlife Hotline: 1-877-UCD-OWCN (1-877-823-6926).

Tarball Reporting: CAL OES Warning Center or the National Response Center at the following numbers: 

The National Response Center (800)-424-8802; 

CalOES State Warning Center:  (800)-852-7550. 

For more information (general):

Wildlife Information: (Species


November 8, 2022

Although it has been over a year since the oil spill off the shores of Huntington Beach, CDFW-OSPR has reported recently exposed, heavily weathered tar balls in Laguna Beach that are related to the P00547 Oil Spill event. Clean-up efforts were completed on Sunday, November 6th near Oak Street. Approximately 20-30 lbs of tar balls were recovered from Thalia Street to Cress Street. 

A virtual public meeting is scheduled for January 25th, 2023 at 9am and 6pm PST. Click here for more information. 

Click here for the November 7th, 2022 report. 

January 3, 2022

A Unified Command continues to investigate the source of offshore oil sheens observed on Dec. 15 and 22. As part of planned operations to evacuate oil from Pipeline 0919 and identify the source, a release produced a sheen this morning. There were response assets staged on-scene, as a potential release from these operations was anticipated. These assets include booming and skimming resources, a helicopter, and a dive team.  The dive team is currently on-scene investigating the pipeline below the sheen. There are no observed impacts to wildlife or the shoreline at this time.


Anna Burkholder, Liaison Officer, Calif. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response



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