Cleanup crews are working to remove about 8,000 gallons of oil that burst from an underground pipeline in Ventura County, Calif., when electrical workers accidentally drilled into it just after midnight on Tuesday.
According to the Ventura County Star, a crew contracted by Southern California Edison to replace a power line drilled into the 10-inch pipe around 12:30 a.m.
The ruptured pipeline released 190 barrels, or 7,980 gallons, of crude oil headed from a holding station in Ventura to a refinery near Long Beach.
It was not immediately clear where all the oil went, but a California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson said that there was no evidence of harm to wildlife in the area. No injuries were reported as a result of the oil spill, but traffic being diverted around a section of Highway 118 in Somis, a small city about 61 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
State environmental regulators said the spill did not immediately pose an environmental hazard, as the spilled oil was confined to a culvert and had not spilled out to any waterways in the area. There is a concern that rain in the area could carry the oil down the drainage ditch and into the Santa Clara River.
State officials directed the cleanup crews to construct a berm or come up with another way to control the flow of oil in the event of rain, the Ventura County Star reported, citing a spokesperson for the pipeline’s owner, Crimson Pipeline.
Showers are expected in the area late Thursday and through Friday. Crimson Pipeline told the Ventura County Star that the pipeline was shut down within an hour of the accident and that cleanup crews had made a lot of progress.
Some Ventura County beaches were contaminated in a May 19 spill after an underground pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline ruptured near Santa Barbara, releasing about 101,000 gallons of crude oil.