An unknown shard was reported off the coast of Orange County late Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s National Response Center received a report at around 4:30 p.m. describing “an unknown shard from an unknown source” that “looks like tar,” according to an incident report from the Office of the United States. emergency services of the Governor of California.
The burst was described as 30 meters by 30 meters, according to the report.
According to the Coast Guard, the reported shard was about half a mile from Bolsa Chica State Beach.
Coast guard and state officials plan to fly over or take a boat to the site to investigate the first-light burst on Thursday, said Steve Gonzalez, spokesperson for the Office of Prevention and Control. California Department of Fish and Wildlife spill response.
Officials were preparing a response plan on Wednesday evening and determining which coastal areas might need protection, if necessary, Gonzalez said.
A Huntington Beach Police helicopter and a boat inspected the water near Bolsa Chica State Beach around 8 p.m. but it was too dark and the water too rough for them to confirm if the reported chandelier was oil, said Jennifer Carey, spokesperson for the Huntington Beach Police Department.
However, maritime safety officials have reported smelling an oil smell while out on the water, Carey said.
The Coast Guard sent a team on Wednesday evening to deploy booms along the canals leading to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and Huntington Beach Wetlands as a precaution, she said.
The outburst report comes on the same day that three companies were charged with criminal negligence in connection with a major oil spill that tarred the Orange County coast in early October.
A three-page federal indictment alleges Amplify Energy Corp. and two subsidiaries, Beta Operating Co. and San Pedro Bay Pipeline Co., illegally dumped oil into federal waters from the pipeline they operated off Huntington Beach.
Although the size of the spill was initially overestimated at over 100,000 gallons, the amount – most recently estimated at nearly 25,000 gallons – was “in an amount which may be harmful to public health, human welfare and human welfare.” environment of the United States â, according to the charges.
It was not known whether the report of the unknown shard is related to the pipeline involved in the October spill.
Further information was not available on Wednesday evening.
Times editor Hannah Fry contributed to this report.