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The Inertia

Two months after a pipeline burst on Santa Barbara’s coastline, spilling an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude, another slick has surfaced. 

On Wednesday, a group was kayaking just over half a mile off Goleta, the site of the large spill back in May. They came across an oil slick nearly three miles wide, near an oil platform owned by Venoco Inc. The rig was shut down in May, and its pipeline was flushed. Venoco denies any involvement, and the origin of the slick is unknown.

The Coast Guard responded to the kayakers’ call, but didn’t think it was necessary to shut down any beaches in the area. According to the LA Times, they said there is a possibility that the sheen comes from natural seepage.


Federal officials, however, said that it could very well be from the oil spill two months ago, when Plains All American’s onshore pipeline burst, closing Refugio State Beach for weeks.

Results from lab tests to find out where the oil came from are still pending, but Dr. Takashi Wada, the director of public health for Santa Barbara County, said that the fishing piers and beaches will remain open.

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