State Watch

Huntington Beach reopening after oil spill

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Huntington Beach is reopening after an oil spill several miles off the Southern California coast forced its closure. 

A recent water quality test revealed no detectable levels of oil-associated toxins in the ocean water, according to local and state officials, The Associated Press reported. The beach will reopen on Monday, according to the AP, though officials are still urging visitors to avoid areas that smell of oil and not to touch any oiled materials that turn up on shore. 

Late last week, the U.S. Coast Guard said it believed an underwater oil pipeline was likely damaged by a ship’s anchor months before it leaked. 

The spill, which occurred about 5 miles off the coast, reportedly sent at least 25,000 gallons of oil into the water. 

“This event could be multiple incidents and strikes of the pipeline after that initial event that we’re pretty confident occurred several months to a year ago,” Coast Guard Capt. Jason Neubauer, chief of the office of investigation and analysis, said during a press conference on Friday. 

Local officials in Huntington Beach said they will continue testing the water for up to two weeks to ensure it is safe for swimmers, surfers and beachgoers.

Mike Ali, a local business owner near the beach, told the AP that he has been forced to shut three of his four shop locations since the spill occurred. 

“It could be a year to two years to get the tourism to come back,” Ali said.

Tags Environment ocean pollution oil spill

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