The U.S. Coast Guard and California State officials are responding to a 13-mile long oil slick just three miles off the coast of Newport Beach. The spill, equal to about 126,000 gallons of post-production crude, is a “potential ecological disaster,” Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said Saturday. It has and will have significant ecological impacts. As of Sunday morning, “the leak has not been completely stopped,” the city of Huntington Beach said in a press release. The spill may be the result of an oil release from an offshore oil production operation near Huntington Beach but the its exact cause has not been determined and the owner of the pipeline is unknown yet. The Coast Guard has classified the situation as a major oil spill. City officials in the city of Newport Beach, California, are warning residents not to swim at beaches. By Sunday morning, “We’ve started to find dead birds & fish washing up on the shore,” Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley tweeted.
Officials are working to determine the impact to the environment. A Unified Incident Command was established at the Long Beach Emergency Operations Center. “We recognize the gravity of the situation. We recognize how serious this is and we are and will continue to fight this with all of our collective resources to ensure that we avert this from becoming a major environmental disaster here in our community,” Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris said. The final day of the Pacific Airshow was canceled. The decision to cancel the popular airshow was made to facilitate clean-up efforts.