Large crude oil spill along southern Santa Barbara County coastl - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Large crude oil spill along southern Santa Barbara County coastline

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Authorities from multiple agencies are on the scene of a large crude oil spill along the coastline of southern Santa Barbara County, at Refugio State Beach. The spill at last report was four miles wide. 

Coast Guard officials said Tuesday evening that the spill came from a 24-inch pipeline and spilled approximately 2,000 barrels per minute until it was shut down. They said the resulting oil slick had the potential to move 2-4 miles south overnight due to wind, so crews would do a flyover of the area first thing in the morning to reassess the situation. The Coast Guard said an initial estimate of 21,000 gallons spilled may not be accurate.

Officials are urging people to stay away from the Santa Barbara coastline, and Refugio State Beach campground is closed until further notice. 

The Office of Emergency Services, State Parks, County Parks, Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Clean Seas and Patriot contractors were all on scene Tuesday afternoon. 

Santa Barbara County Fire said the spill started from a ruptured pipeline onshore, on the north side of Highway 101 and leaked down into the ocean. The leak has been stopped and crews are now trying to contain the oil slick. The pipeline is owned by Plains All American Pipeline. 

The spill was first reported around 11:42 a.m. Tuesday. 

Coast Guard officials said there is an active investigation into the cause of the leak.

If you spot any wildlife that is suffering due to the spill, please immediately contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (877) 823-6926. 

Anyone wishing to volunteer in the wake of the oil spill should go to the following website: http://californiavolunteers.org/

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