Second oil sheen reported in same area as Orange County spill is no longer visible: officials

California

Officials were investigating the possibility of another oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach after a sheen was reported in the same area as the October pipeline leak Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

A pollution response team was investigating the 30-foot-by-70-foot sheen, authorities from the U.S. Coast Guard announced at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The source of the sheen had not yet been determined and it was not immediately known when it was first spotted.

At about 3:15 p.m., the Coast Guard reported that the sheen is not “currently observed by on-water and aerial assets.”

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said on Twitter that “U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer in Charge Richard Brahm said the substance doesn’t immediately resemble what officials saw last month.”

Foley also said the sheen has not been seen since about 2 p.m. Droplets of oil were initially found on the syntho-glass wrap on the pipeline, but the “old wrap was removed from the line and the new wrap was installed.”

“Crews will monitor the line overnight to ensure effectiveness,” Foley said.

The Huntington Beach Police Department confirmed at about 4:30 that sheen was no longer being seen by aerial or on-water crews.

The reported sheen comes about seven weeks after a ruptured offshore pipeline off the coast of Orange County spilled an estimated 25,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean.

Earlier, Foley announced on Twitter that she was informed about the reported oil sheen spotted in the area of last month’s spill.

“Sending resources to investigate now. Source unknown at this time,” Foley tweeted. She said the U.S. Coast Guard and the Huntington Beach Police Department were also sending resources.

Authorities from the U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board believe an anchor from a cargo ship struck an oil pipeline off Huntington Beach and eventually led to the October spill.

Blobs of oil washed ashore, oiling birds and shuttering Orange County beaches for days. Cleanup efforts following the spill took nearly a month.

Investigators with the U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday have identified a second ship believed to have been in the area of the October spill.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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