Hundreds continue cleanup efforts following South Coast oil spil - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Hundreds continue cleanup efforts following South Coast oil spill

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More than 800 people are out in Santa Barbara County, continuing to clean-up after a pipeline burst nine days ago caused upwards of 101,000 gallons of oil to leak into the ground and ocean off the Santa Barbara coast.

Officials with Plains All American Pipeline, the company responsible for the spill, say the 40-foot affected joint was removed Thursday morning, along with approximately five feet of pipe on either side. Crews will continue removing oiled soil near the site. The replacement of the pipe is expected to be completed Friday.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says 39 live oiled birds, and 18 dead birds have now been collected, along with 22 live and 10 dead mammals.

Officials also said necropsies have been successfully done on three dolphins and there was no visible oil found on their interior of exterior.

Fishery closures in the area remain in effect, and the closures at Refugio and El Capitan State beaches and campgrounds have been pushed to at least June 18.

The U.S. Coast Guard says crews have found tar balls as far as Los Angeles and Orange County. They are doing oil fingerprinting to determine whether the tar balls were caused by the south coast spill or are from natural seeps.

Plains All American says Friday they will use sonar to look at the waters near El Capitan and send divers to submerged oil areas.

A UCSB professor says they can't quantify the amount of submerged oil at this time.

Plains All American say they cannot release any information about the affected pipe - what it looks like or what crews saw - until the investigation is complete.

Company officials say they will not leave until the clean-up is complete.
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