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Santa Barbara County, CA Fish and Wildlife complete oil spill cleanup in Toro Canyon

California Fish and Wildlife Department

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -- Santa Barbara County and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Department announced the completion of the oil leak clean-up at Toro Canyon Creek on Friday.

The County and the wildlife agency have completed their coordinated effort of the oil clean up at Toro Canyon Creek northeast of Summerland on August 27.

Back on July 6, the County and wildlife agency responded to an oil leak that was caused by a leak in a pipe connected to an oil and water separator facility.

An estimated 420 to 630 gallons of oil traveled throughout the area causing destruction to the ecosystem that lived within 300 yards of the area.

The oil was contained by mid-July.

The oil was removed from the channel by absorbents, pressure washing, vacuuming and disposal of oiled vegetation.

The next steps will be the monitoring and maintenance of the area for the next three months.

The County will continue to work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Lake and Streambed Alteration Program along with other State agencies to help restore portions of the creek bed and bank that were affected by the oil leak.

During the clean-up efforts, the Wildlife Care Network rescued 92 oiled frogs in the area and cleaned them up. They were then all returned to the area on August 27.

The County and local agencies found 17 dead small birds, 13 bats and a squirrel during the oil cleanup.

The oil is from natural seepage emerging from an Occidental Mining and Petroleum Company well three miles north of Highway 101. The well was built in 882.

In 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency retrofitted the site to prevent seepage by building the oil and water separator facility at the well.

The County says they have monitored and maintained that facility since 2009.

They are working with federal and state officials on long-term system improvements.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Julia Nguyen


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