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Oil Slick Near Santa Barbara Nearly 4 Miles Wide

Bad news for the residents of Santa Barbara County, CA.
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From the LA Times: About 21,000 gallons of oil leaked off Santa Barbara County beaches:

EEmergency officials were responding Tuesday afternoon to a ruptured pipeline that was estimated to have leaked 21,000 gallons of oil into the ocean off Santa Barbara County, authorities said.

By 3:45 p.m., the leak had left a four-mile-long sheen of oil extending about 50 yards into the waters along Refugio State Beach in Goleta, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrea Anderson.

The ruptured pipeline is operated by Plains All America Pipeline and runs along the coast near Highway 101, Coast Guard officials said. The leak was first reported to county fire officials about noon, and Coast Guard crews stopped the leak by 3 p.m., Anderson said.

Plains All America Pipeline could not be reached for comment.

Federal, state and local authorities have arrived at the scene to investigate the cause of the leak and coordinate cleanup efforts, said Alexia Retallack, spokeswoman for the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

It's unclear what type of oil had been flowing through the pipeline.

Coast Guard officials estimated that during the several-hours-long leak, about 21,000 gallons flowed into the ocean. State officials declined to estimate how much of the oil escaped, and said it could take several days to calculate exactly how much oil leaked.

"Everyone would like a number, but we can't provide one we're comfortable with," Retallack said. Read on...

Here's another view of the spill from Rachel Maddow's show.


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