We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Santa Barbara Oil Spill: Governor Declares Emergency

Michael A. Mariant / AP

Clean up workers place shovels of oil-laden sand in bags while a larger group of workers begin clean up operations at Refugio State Beach, site of an oil spill, north of Goleta, Calif., Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

Michael A. Mariant / AP

9: 52 a.m. -- (AP) - Officials say more than 7,700 gallons of oil has been raked, skimmed and vacuumed from a spill that stretches across 9 miles of California coast - just a fraction of the crude that escaped from a broken pipeline.

Coast Guard Lt. Jonathan McCormick says additional crew members and boats will be added to the cleanup effort Thursday along the Santa Barbara coast.

Light winds and calm seas are predicted, which officials say help those assessing and collecting the oil.

Up to 105,000 gallons may have leaked from the ruptured pipeline Tuesday, and as much as 21,000 gallons reached the sea.

Workers with Plains All American, which runs the pipeline, and federal regulators hope to begin excavating the pipe Thursday and get their first look at the breach.

Original post 6:30 a.m. (AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County over the coastal oil spill.

The move Wednesday night from the governor frees up emergency state funding and resources to help in the cleanup efforts.

Also Wednesday, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley says her office, along with the state attorney general, is investigating the pipeline spill for possible criminal prosecution or a finding of civil liability.

The chairman and CEO of the company, Plains Pipeline LP, says he deeply regrets that the incident happened and apologized to residents and visitors affected by it.

The spill occurred Tuesday about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara. A broken onshore pipeline spewed oil down a storm drain and into the Pacific Ocean for several hours before it was shut off.

Sign up for ReCap

and never miss the top stories

Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

Check out a sample ReCap newsletter.