Update to Oil spill regulators respond to platform spill off the coast

Carpinteria, Calif. – The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), the United States Coast Guard, Minerals Management Service, and DCOR, LLC are continuing their coordinated response to an oil spill from a platform six miles off the coast of Santa Barbara County.

The spill occurred on the morning of Dec. 7, and as of 4 p.m. today, approximately 34 barrels of oil have been recovered. No land has been impacted by this spill to date. The platform remains secure and no additional oil has been released into the ocean. The total amount of oil that was released into the water is still under investigation.

Today’s cleanup operations involved the use of four response vessels from Clean Seas, the cleanup contractor; six vessels provided by Fishermen’s Offshore Response Team and a private contractor; one Coast Guard 47-foot boat; two helicopters providing aerial surveillance; and approximately 70 people working in the area of the spill.

In addition, the unified command has deployed a new technology designed to maximize the effectiveness of the oil recovery effort. Contractors from Ocean Imaging flew over the spill site in a DFG aircraft yesterday and, using a digital multi-spectral camera and thermal imager, produced highly detailed maps showing the exact locations and levels of thickness for the oil on the water. This information was then sent electronically in near real-time to spill responders – allowing them to reposition recovery vessels to where they could remove the most oil with the greatest level of effectiveness. The use of this technology was evaluated and demonstrated just last month in Santa Barbara for government officials and oil industry representatives.

Coast Guard has issued a safety broadcast for the cleanup in a 5 mile radius around the Platform Habitat. The area is approximately 3.5 miles southeast of Platform A and mariners are advised to use caution and avoid the area if possible.

Responders have observed one oiled bird that was not able to be captured. Wildlife will continue to be monitored closely. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network will continue to conduct wildlife reconnaissance. To report sightings of oiled wildlife, please call 877-UCD-OWCN (877-823-6926).

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