The United States Coast Guard is responding to reports of an oil slick spotted three miles off the coast of Newport Beach.
Huntington Beach’s mayor was joined by several public officials tonight to discuss what is being classified as a “major oil spill” that made landfall from an offshore oil rig, prompting beach closures.
The slick is approximately 13 miles in diameter, the USCG said in an announcement on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.
Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said that the spill of 3,000 barrels’ worth of oil — about 126,000 gallons — was reported about 9 a.m. Saturday and drew a response from all levels of government and that a unified command was established to handle this environmental crisis.
Carr described the situation as a “potential ecologic disaster,” and said that some of the oil had reached the shore and was impacting the Talbert Marshlands and the Santa Ana River Trail.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife was also monitoring the situation. Their Office of Spill Prevention and Response received reports of “oil in federal waters several miles offshore of Huntington Beach,” and was investigating the “source, volume & oil type,” according to another Twitter statement.
The department was beginning cleanup efforts Saturday afternoon.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.