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Santa Barbara County firefighters respond to oil leak north of Carpinteria

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to a reported oil leak into the 1000 block of Toro Creek near Carpinteria around 11:33 a. m. on Jan. 1.

The source and amount of oil leaking remain unknown at this time.

Fire crews and oil response trailers will coordinate with additional emergency responders until a unified command is established.

The Toro Canyon area does have naturally occurring crude oil sites that have required response from the state water quality control board including creating an oil/water separator at Toro Creek Canyon in April 2009 to prevent discharge into Toro Canyon Creek.

Update as of Jan. 2: A unified command has been created to manage the Toro Canyon incident made up of Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Barbara County and California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

The source has been identified by Santa Barbara County Fire Department as natural seepage from a horizontal oil well built by Occidental Mining and Petroleum in 1882.

Notable crude oil spills from this well include 1,200 gallons on Feb. 14, 1992 and around 3,000 gallons in July of 1997 which reached 4.5 miles downstream.

An oil/water separator installed by the Environmental Protection Agency and referenced in our original reporting has been monitored by Santa Barbara County Fire Department since 2009.

The total amount of crude oil spilled in this incident, the proximate cause of the spill and the impact on local plants and animals remain under investigation.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Occidental Mining and Petroleum Corporation
Santa Barbara
santa barbara county fire department
Toro Canyon oil leak

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Andrew Gillies

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