Another Oil Sheen Spotted Off OC Coast Being Monitored

Huntington Beach oil spill

Photo: Getty Images

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CNS) - Authorities today will continue to monitor an oil sheen off the coast of Huntington Beach that appeared to be heading north toward the Long Beach area.

The sheen -- the second one spotted in the Huntington Beach area in about a week -- was detected Wednesday roughly a mile offshore from Bolsa Chica State Beach, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response. The source of the sheen was unknown.

According to OSPR, ``protective strategies'' were implemented at ``sensitive environmental sites'' as a precaution, including Talbert Marsh, Bolsa Chica wetlands, Newport Slough and the Santa Ana River.

``Samples were collected (Wednesday) as part of the investigation and the source is yet to be determined,'' according to an OSPR Twitter post.

The agency reported that despite the deployment of protective booms, some tarballs came ashore Thursday in Huntington Beach.

Officials were monitoring the shoreline from Anaheim Bay to the Santa Ana River.

Meanwhile, officials in Long Beach said they were monitoring the spill, which appeared to be traveling north.

``The size of the sheen is currently undetermined, however, on its current trajectory northbound, the San Gabriel River, Long Beach shoreline and Port of Long Beach could be impacted as early as ... Dec. 24,'' according to a statement from the city.

``Forecasted inclement weather (Thursday and Friday) is contributing to the oil sheen's direction of travel and will also likely disrupt efforts to locate and identify the source and contain it.

``The city of Long Beach is actively looking at contingency plans for various scenarios and is prepared to clear the beaches immediately, start our own local mitigation efforts and provide further updates as needed.''

Last week, authorities responded to an oil sheen in roughly the same area, but about two miles off the coast. Investigators said that sheen did not appear to be the result of a pipeline leak.

A major pipeline leak was deemed responsible for a large release of oil that occurred off the Orange County coast in early October, prompting the closure of beaches and businesses along the shoreline.

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