A ship’s anchor could be the cause of an oil spill near a port complex in Los Angeles and Huntington Beach, leaving several boats waiting to be unloaded.
The spill, which dispersed more than 126,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean, damaged wetlands, forced beach closures and resulted in the loss of marine life. An investigation into the causes of the weekend’s spill has been launched and it is believed that a ship anchor struck the pipeline, which is owned by Amplify Energy Corp of Houston.
SkyTruth, a nonprofit environmental watchdog, said there were ships anchored near the pipeline, with the closest estimated at 450 meters.
“It seems like a comfortably long distance to separate this pipeline from this ship, but one thing I don’t know is how accurate this government data is on the exact location of this pipeline on the seabed,” SkyTruth chairman John Amos said.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said investigators were looking to see if charges could be laid for the spread.
As of Tuesday morning, 63 container ships were waiting to unload in San Pedro Bay at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California.
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California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Orange County on Monday to support emergency spill response.
Fox News contacted the United States Coast Guard for the Pacific area and Amplify Energy Corp, but did not receive an immediate response from either.
Fox News’ Julia musto contributed to this article.