California oil spill: South coast beaches re-open

Josh Edmondson An oil spill that shut down waters between Los Angeles and San Diego has been reopened to surfers and snorkelers, the US Coast Guard has announced. A pipe ruptured in October, sending…

California oil spill: South coast beaches re-open

Josh Edmondson

An oil spill that shut down waters between Los Angeles and San Diego has been reopened to surfers and snorkelers, the US Coast Guard has announced.

A pipe ruptured in October, sending at least 170,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific.

Only fishermen can use the open waters of Los Angeles and San Diego Bay now, the Coast Guard says.

It came as some consumers continue to receive notices that tar balls were found in beaches in the area.

Five people have sued Shell, the oil company that has since moved the pipelines and operations to other states, after the spill on 3 October.

Environmental groups have accused the company of failing to alert residents of the spill properly.

Ten beaches were closed on the day of the spill, but no beach closures have been issued since then.

“With summer over, it’s looking like we’ll be looking at some ocean conditions that are conducive to snorkelling and surf surf,” Captain Scott Johnson said in an announcement on the Coast Guard’s website.

Pipelines that carry oil from Southern California back to refineries across the US are not operated 24 hours a day and sometimes shut down automatically.

The fuel pipeline has since been converted from crude oil to petrochemicals.

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