From: Allison Winter, ENN
Published May 16, 2014 07:23 AM

10,000-Gallons of Crude Oil Spilled in L.A.

Yesterday morning, black oil sprayed nearly 20 feet into the air in Atwater Village, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California after a "valve malfunction" caused the oil to leak.


The LA Fire Department (LAFD) estimates that 10,000 gallons have spilled and while much cleanup progress has been made, it will will take a few days to clean up all contamination.

Crude oil was spilled across a half-mile area, according to an LAFD alert. The oil spill had created a pool approximately 40-feet wide and was knee-high in some areas.

When emergency responders received the call, fire officials immediately contacted the pipeline company, West Coast – Plains All American Pipeline, who shut down the line remotely. But "due to residual pressure and gravity," it was about 45 minutes before oil stopped flowing, according to the Fire Department.

Those in the area reported a very strong odor, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a health advisory due to the combination of odor and high temperatures.

"Cleanup of this spill is progressing, but individuals may experience discomfort from odors from the residual crude," said Director of Public Health Dr. Jonathan Fielding. "These odors may result in mild, temporary health impacts, such as eye, nose and throat irritation, headache, dizziness, or upset stomach. As the temperature rises today, these odors may become more prominent."

Area residents and workers should take efforts to protect themselves from the "extreme odor," the health department stated.

The oil was contained using sand from a local concrete company that was formed into 30-foot berm, creating a 2-1/2-foot deep "lagoon," the Fire Department stated. The pooled oil was sucked up by vacuum trucks, and absorbents and a high-pressure wash was used to clean up the remaining crude.

Fortunately, no oil entered storm drains, which feed into the Los Angeles River and ultimately the Pacific Ocean. However, according to fire officials, oil did seep through the cracks in asphalt at the location and has contaminated the soil.

Read more at KTLA5.

Oil spill image via Shutterstock.

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