Officials examine oil sheen in Talbert Channel in Huntington Beach – Orange County Register

Officials are investigating the cause of an oil slick reported Thursday morning, October 6, at a construction site in Huntington Beach’s Talbert Canal.

Orange County Public Works workers spotted the slick around 7 a.m. and described in a spill report a rainbow-colored slick stretching about 200 yards long and 75 feet wide above the water surface.

The Talbert and Huntington Beach canals are the sites of a flood defense maintenance project being carried out by contractors from the Department of Public Works, agency spokesman Shannon Widor said. The works consist of lining the canals with large steel sheet piling to strengthen the walls for better flood protection.

Widor said crews may have struck an oil pipeline while installing the steel piles, but an investigation will determine the definitive cause.

Mary Fricke, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Response and Prevention, said the appearance of the oil slick led officials to suspect it might have come from an abandoned pipeline.

“It has this milky quality of older oil,” Fricke said.

Several barriers were placed on the water’s surface to curb the shine, Widor said. One is near the Indianapolis Bridge, where the oil was first discovered, and others have been placed on Atlanta Avenue and Hamilton Avenue, he said.

As of this morning, there have been no reports of affected wildlife, Fricke said.

Officials with the Office of Spill Response and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency are overseeing the cleanup, she said.

An investigation will attempt to determine the root cause of the spill, as well as the amount of oil spilled and the identification of the owner of the pipeline that may have been hit, Widor said. Officials examine oil sheen in Talbert Channel in Huntington Beach – Orange County Register

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