American Challenger Coalition – Update #6

Crews have completed assessment efforts for the four remaining petroleum tanks aboard American Challenger.

Approximately 650 gallons of oil/water mix was recovered from one of the tanks, along with approximately 7 cubic yards of petroleum-contaminated debris and other miscellaneous hazardous materials. The vessel’s tow line was also removed from the water.

Access to pollutants in the engine room remain a challenge, based on the vessel’s disposition and variable weather and tides. Crews deployed absorbent pads within, but accessible oil and hazardous materials will continue to be addressed as operations progress.

Periodic oil sheens have been observed in the immediate vicinity of the vessel. Deployment of boom or other preventive measures were determined not to be effective due to the low quantity of product and challenging sea conditions. Efforts are underway to contain the petroleum and determine its source location and develop a long-term mitigation plan.

Additional environmental support has been integrated into the response to monitor potential impacts to wildlife, although there have been no reports of oiled wildlife since the incident took place on March 5. 

American Challenger Coalition – Update #5

April 23, 2021

The Unified Command has approved a plan to continue pollution assessments of American Challenger, based on preliminary findings from an accelerometer installed on the vessel April 14.  The device has provided data that has led marine engineers and the Unified Command to conclude that the vessel is stable enough to be boarded via helicopter drop-in to survey the 4 remaining petroleum tanks. The boarding operation is tentatively scheduled for April 26, and will proceed if additional safety analysis supports the plan. Operations will also be dependent on weather and tides, and once initiated will likely last 3 to 4 days.

Marin County emergency crews will be on standby and oil spill response equipment has been pre-staged to respond to any unexpected releases.

To date, there have been no reports of oiled or injured wildlife due to this incident.

This photo from April 14 shows Sonoma County Sheriff’s Henry 1 helicopter being used to lower marine salvage contractors onto the vessel to install the accelerometer. A helicopter will also be used for next week’s planned operations, as it’s the only safe way for crews to access American Challenger.

American Challenger Coalition – Update #4

April 14, 2021

Marine engineering contractors were dropped in by helicopter today to install an accelerometer onto American Challenger. The operation was part of a plan to determine safe access to the vessel so that pollution assessments can be completed. The accelerometer will monitor the stability of the vessel over time, providing data that will help determine the feasibility of getting onboard to examine four remaining petroleum tanks. 

The helicopter for today’s operations was provided by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department as part of a mutual aid agreement. 

The American Challenger remains grounded on a rocky shoreline in Marin County just north of Dillon Beach. Contractors from the engineering firm and also from a marine salvaging firm were hired last week by the Unified Command leading the response. To date, there have been no reports of oiled wildlife from the incident.

American Challenger Coalition – Update #3

April 9, 2021

A coalition of local, state and federal agencies continues to monitor the grounded American Challenger. The Unified Command has engaged Ballard Marine Construction, a marine salvage company, and Glosten Engineers, a Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering firm, to develop a plan to address safety concerns that have restricted access to the vessel. Once safety concerns have been addressed, the Unified Command intends to direct additional pollution assessments aboard the vessel.

Marin County Sheriff’s Office has issued a public advisory to refrain from approaching the vessel, as it is unstable and poses a serious safety threat.

To date there have been no reports of oiled wildlife from the incident.

The American Challenger, as seen from a drone flight on April 1. The vessel grounded on rocks in Marin County just north of Dillon Beach.

American Challenger Coalition – Update #2

April 2, 2021

A coalition of local, state and federal agencies continues to monitor the American Challenger, the 90-foot fishing vessel grounded on rocks north of Dillon Beach in Marin County.

Contractors specializing in marine engineering and safety are being hired to board the vessel to complete the pollution threat assessment. In the initial days of the response, crews led by state and federal agencies were able to access the ship and examine 13 of the 17 tanks on board. Operations to evaluate the remaining four tanks were called off due to safety concerns, as the vessel began to shift to an unsafe angle. Completion of the assessment will provide more information to determine the best way to remove fuel while protecting the health and safety of the public, responders, and the environment.

Marin County firefighters underwent refresher training on March 26, and are prepared to deploy oil spill containment resources promptly if the American Challenger or any other potential threat were to leak fuel that could impact sensitive habitat in Tomales Bay.

The American Challenger response is complex and involves multiple agencies with various authorities and jurisdictions. This coalition is committed to working together to find a safe, environmentally responsible solution, which will take time.

A CDFW drone captured this image of the American Challenger during an assessment on April 1, 2021.

American Challenger Coalition – Update #1

Marin County Fire crews deployed containment boom in Tomales Bay today as a readiness exercise led by the U.S. Coast Guard and CDFW-OSPR. Although no fuel sheen has been observed around the grounded fishing vessel, American Challenger, since March 10, the fire crews are now better prepared to use the equipment in the event of a potential discharge. Tomales Bay is just south of the vessel grounding site and home to sensitive habitat including oyster beds. Local oyster farmers were present for today’s exercise and consulted with agency staff.

The American Challenger coalition continues its work to secure funding to address the potential pollution threat from the 90-foot vessel. A plan is being developed to safely allow experts to board the vessel to further assess the remaining fuel tanks. To date, there have been no reports of oiled wildlife as result of the incident.

American Challenger Coalition – Initial Statement

A coalition of government agencies continues to explore options to secure funding to address the ongoing pollution threat from the American Challenger. The coalition has met several times over the past few days and discussions are ongoing.

The vessel remains grounded on a rocky shoreline near Dillon Beach in Marin County. Although sheening has not been observed around the vessel since March 10, it still poses a potential pollution threat to wildlife and sensitive habitat in the area. There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife.

The coalition includes representatives from NOAA’s Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services.

Media inquiries can be directed to: Eric.Laughlin@Wildlife.ca.gov


American Challenger Response – Update #10

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – The unified command overseeing the response to the American Challenger declared an end to emergency oil pollution response operations. Oversight for the next response phase will shift to a coalition of agencies including NOAA’s Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and the Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services that will focus on addressing the longer term pollution threat and additional environmental concerns from the American Challenger, as well as determining the ultimate fate of the vessel.

The initial emergency oil pollution response efforts are scheduled to conclude at the end of the week when all the boom has been removed from Tomales Bay. Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary will continue to monitor the coast for evidence of impacts from the grounding and oil spill with regular and enhanced Beach Watch surveys. The sanctuary will also continue to coordinate in other ways with agencies involved in this incident. 

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach and contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926. 

Media inquiries can be directed to maryjane.schramm@noaa.gov or eric.laughlin@wildlife.ca.gov 

American Challenger Response – Update #9

MARIN COUNTY, Calif – The Unified Command has suspended their oil pollution assessment of the American Challenger to preserve the health and safety of responders.  A shift in the positioning of the vessel has created an unsafe work environment in its current state.  Based on the preliminary assessment conducted, oil pollution threat appears to be minimal at this time. 

The next step is to transition into long term monitoring and risk mitigation operations under an updated unified command structure, with a new lead federal agency that will be announced in the future. 

On Monday, March 8th, boom was put in place south of the vessel in Tomales Bay to protect sensitive sites in the event of an oil pollution spill. No sheen has been reported from aircraft and drone overflights around the ship since Wednesday.  

A net environmental benefit analysis was conducted by California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response and NOAA’s Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, which indicated that the potential for damage to the sea floor due to long term deployment of boom outweighed the benefit of an extended preventative deployment based on the last conducted survey of the vessel.  Therefore, boom demobilization operations are scheduled to commence on Monday, March 15th.  

The unified command completed the following:   

  • Launched Coast Guard helicopter crews who conducted four overflights to assess signs of sheening from the American Challenger.  
  • Conducted five drone overflights to determine pollution impact.  
  • Contracted helicopter support to lower pollution assessment surveyors down to the vessel on multiple missions over the course of 2.5 days to assess fuel tanks aboard the American Challenger. Marin County Fire Department provided two water crafts as a safety platform during the vessel assessment.  
  • Conducted daily shoreline assessments from Doran Beach to Tomales Bay.  
  • Deployed preventative boom and applied absorbent pads to protect sensitive sites, including oyster beds, in Tomales Bay. 
  • Deployed 100 interagency and contractor personnel, the Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill, a Coast Guard boat crew, two Coast Guard helicopter crews, two local agency watercraft, five civilian work boats and three unmanned aerial assessment aircrafts. 
  • Coast Guard Sector San Francisco issued marine safety information broadcasts via marine-band radio to inform mariners of boom operations in Tomales Bay.  

All beaches remain open. Miller Boat Launch will remain open throughout the weekend but will be temporarily closed starting Monday, March 15th, to support boom removal operations. 

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach and contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926. 

There are no impacts to commercial traffic or scheduled marine events at this time.  

Media inquiries can be directed to sectorsfpao@gmail.com 

American Challenger Response – Update #8

March 12, 2021

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – The unified command continued their response Friday to the grounded vessel American Challenger

Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team members conducted a drone overflight to assess the American Challenger. There were no new reports of sheening. 

Environmental shoreline assessment teams continued to conduct surveys in the area with no reports of debris. 

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach and contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926. 

The unified command is scheduled to host a virtual open house for the public Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87996831064, where staff will present information on the current status and future plans of the response.  

Additionally, the American Challenger Response public survey can be found at the following site where Marin County residents can share their concerns ahead of the open house. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AmericanChallengerResponsePublicSurvey 

Media inquiries can be directed to sectorsfpao@gmail.com 

Photos courtesy Lind Marine Inc.

American Challenger Response – Update #6

March 11, 2021

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – The Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary continued to respond as a unified command Thursday, March 11, to the grounded 90-foot vessel American Challenger north of Dillon Beach.  

Marine survey operations remain suspended due to safety concerns regarding accessing the American Challenger. The Unified Command continues to monitor the situation. 

An environmental shoreline assessment team re-convened to conduct surveys in the area. Minor sheening was reported in the immediate vicinity of the vessel, but not in any other locations. 

Boom was deployed to protect sensitive habitats, including oyster beds in Tomales Bay, as a precautionary measure. Teams have been on site to monitor the boom and the Coast Guard is broadcasting a safety marine information bulletin to inform the public of booming operations in Tomales Bay.  

There have been reports of brown foam washing up along the beach, which have been assessed as normal biological material and not oil product.   

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders were notified Friday of the American Challenger being towed southward by the Tug Hunter when the Tug Hunter lost propulsion due to a rope entangling the propeller. 

The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill crew arrived on scene but due to weather conditions, the proximity to shore and the unknown structural integrity of the unmanned vessel, the crew could not safely board the American Challenger to connect a tow line. At 1 a.m. the vessel grounded on a rocky shoreline near Dillon Beach.  

All beaches remain open. Miller Boat Launch is temporarily closed due to response operations, but will be open on Friday. 

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach and contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926. 

There are no impacts to commercial traffic or scheduled marine events at this time. 

The response is currently being funded by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Federal assumption does not relieve the owner of their financial responsibilities and they may be liable for the cost of any response actions undertaken by the United States Government. 

Media inquiries can be directed to sectorsfpao@gmail.com 

A virtual open house for the public is scheduled for Saturday, March 13th, from 2:00pm – 4:00pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87996831064 

Below is the link to the American Challenger Response Public Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AmericanChallengerResponsePublicSurvey

American Challenger Response – Update #5

March 10, 2021

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – The Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary continued to respond as a unified command Wednesday, March 10, to the grounded 90-foot vessel American Challenger north of Dillon Beach.  

Marine surveyors boarded the American Challenger to continue their inspection of the vessel’s fuel tanks until mid-morning when conditions deteriorated and became unsafe. Responders suspended operations for 24 hours to allow the vessel to stabilize further before assessing the feasibility of continuing with the inspection. 

Due to on-scene weather, environmental shoreline assessments were suspended and are scheduled to begin again tomorrow. 

Boom was deployed to protect sensitive habitats, including oyster beds, in Tomales Bay, as a precautionary measure. Teams have been on site to monitor the boom and the Coast Guard is broadcasting a safety marine information bulletin to inform the public of booming operations in Tomales Bay.  

There have been reports of brown foam washing up along the beach, which have been assessed as normal biological material and not oil product.   

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders were notified Friday of the American Challenger being towed southward by the Tug Hunter when the Tug Hunter lost propulsion due to a rope entangling the propeller. 

The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill crew arrived on scene but due to weather conditions, the proximity to shore and the unknown structural integrity of the unmanned vessel, the crew could not safely board the American Challenger to connect a tow line. At 1 a.m. the vessel grounded on a rocky shoreline near Dillon Beach.  

All beaches remain open. Miller Boat Launch remains temporarily closed to support response operations.  

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach and contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926. 

There are no impacts to commercial traffic or scheduled marine events at this time. 

The response is currently being funded by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Federal assumption does not relieve the owner of their financial responsibilities and they may be liable for the cost of any response actions undertaken by the United States Government. 

Media inquiries can be directed to sectorsfpao@gmail.com 

American Challenger Response – Update #4

March 9, 2021

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – The Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary continue to respond as a unified command Tuesday to the grounded 90-foot vessel American Challenger north of Dillon Beach.  

Marine surveyors boarded the American Challenger to continue their inspection of the vessel’s fuel tanks by using sound tapes and paste to get an accurate reading of the amount of fuel aboard. Due to the vessel’s instability, the process will take time to ensure the safety of the surveyors.  

An environmental shoreline assessment team continued to conduct surveys in the area. There are reports of minor sheening in the immediate vicinity of the vessel and along the shoreline adjacent to the vessel. Teams are conducting cleanup efforts in that area. No additional sheening was reported during an overflight.  

Boom was deployed to protect sensitive habitats, including oyster beds, in Tomales Bay, as a precautionary measure. Teams have been on site to monitor the boom and the Coast Guard is broadcasting a safety marine information bulletin to inform the public of booming operations in Tomales Bay.  

There have been reports of brown foam washing up along the beach, which have been assessed as normal biological material and not oil product.   

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders were notified Friday of the American Challenger being towed southward by the Tug Hunter when the Tug Hunter lost propulsion due to a rope entangling the propeller. 

The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill crew arrived on scene but due to weather conditions, the proximity to shore and the unknown structural integrity of the unmanned vessel, the crew could not safely board the American Challenger to connect a tow line. At 1 a.m. the vessel grounded on a rocky shoreline near Dillon Beach.  

All beaches remain open. Miller Boat Launch remains temporarily closed to support response operations.  

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach and contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926. 

There are no impacts to commercial traffic or scheduled marine events at this time. 

The response is currently being funded by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Federal assumption does not relieve the owner of their financial responsibilities and they may be liable for the cost of any response actions undertaken by the United States Government. 

Media inquiries can be directed to sectorsfpao@gmail.com 

American Challenger Response – Update #3

March 9, 2021

Response efforts continued this morning, March 9, to conduct a survey of the vessel American Challenger and determined the pollution threat onboard. A shoreline assessment team will also conduct surveys to determine any shoreline impact. The safety of the responders on scene remains the priority and weather on the coast is predicted to deteriorate throughout the day. Responders will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as the day goes on. A press release will be sent out at the end of the day (and posted here) summarizing the efforts of today’s operations.

American Challenger Response – Update #2

March 8, 2021

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – The Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary continue to respond as a unified command to a grounded vessel along the shoreline north of Dillon Beach.  

Initial reports were received by Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at 8:45 am Friday, March 5, about the 90-foot vessel the American Challenger being towed southward by the Tug Hunter from Puget Sound, Washington, when the Tug Hunter lost propulsion due to a rope entangling the propeller.  At 1:00 am, Saturday, March 6, the vessel grounded on a rocky shoreline near Dillon Beach where it remains.  

The Tug Hunter was brought to a pier in Sausalito and the owner is currently in coordination with the Coast Guard to ensure the vessel has been inspected prior to departing.  

Marine surveyors were able to access the vessel American Challenger and are conducting an inspection of the vessel’s fuel tanks to get an estimate of any possible pollution onboard.  

Environmental shoreline assessment teams continued to conduct surveys in the area. Teams reported minor sheening in the immediate vicinity of the vessel and along the shoreline adjacent to the vessel. Teams are conducting cleaning efforts in that area. No other sheening was reported from the overflight. 

There have been reports of brown foam washing up along the beach. This has been assessed as normal biological material and not oil product. 

As a precautionary measure, boom was deployed to protect sensitive habitat, including oyster beds, in Tomales Bay. There has been no reported sheening in this area since the start of the incident. USCG is broadcasting a Safety Marine Information Bulletin (SMIB) to inform the public of booming operations in Tomales Bay. 

All area beaches remain open, however Miller Boat Launch remains temporarily closed to support response operations. 

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. 

If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach the animal and instead call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at  1-877-823-6926. 

There are no impacts to commercial traffic or scheduled marine events at this time. 

Media inquiries can be directed to  sectorsfpao@gmail.com 

Crews deployed containment boom as a precaution to protect sensitive environmental sites in Tomales Bay. No sheen has been observed in this area.

American Challenger Response – Update #1

March 7, 2021

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – The Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Marin County Office of Emergency Services and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary continue to respond as a unified command to a grounded vessel along the shoreline north of Dillon Beach.  

Initial reports were received by Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders at 8:45 am Friday, March 5, about the 90-foot vessel the American Challenger being towed southward by the Tug Hunter from Puget Sound, Washington, when the Tug Hunter lost propulsion due to a rope entangling the propeller.  At 1:00 am, March 6, the vessel grounded on a rocky shoreline near Dillon Beach where it remains.  

An investigation is underway to determine the amount of fuel aboard the American Challenger. Overflights have observed a small amount of motor oil in vicinity of the vessel but there is no extensive sheen coming from the vessel. Teams will conduct cleanup operations if recoverable.  

Salvage crews assessed the vessel American Challenger with drones and developed a plan to access the vessel via helicopter to assess damage and quantify petroleum potential on vessel. 

Environmental shoreline assessment teams conducted surveys in the area and reported some oil contamination on the beach in the vicinity of the vessel. Teams will respond to the area.  

As a precautionary measure, 4,000 feet of boom was deployed to protect sensitive habitat, including oyster beds, in Tomales Bay. Additional booming will be deployed tomorrow.  

Of the deployed boom, there will be a 100 foot gap for recreational boaters to transit at the deepest point of the channel south and east of Hog Island. If there is a threat to the oyster bed, the gap will be closed. USCG is broadcasting a Safety Marine Information Bulletin (SMIB) to inform public of protection operations in Tomales Bay. 

All area beaches remain open, however Miller Boat Launch is temporarily closed to support response operations. 

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife. 

If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach the animal and instead call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926. 

There are no impacts to commercial traffic or scheduled marine events at this time. 

Media inquiries can be directed to sectorsfpao@gmail.com

American Challenger Response – Initial UC Statement

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. – The Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Marin County Office of Emergency Services and the Greater Farallones Marine Sanctuary established a unified command Saturday in response to a grounded vessel along the shoreline north of Dillon Beach. 

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders received a report at 8:45 a.m. Friday about the 90-foot vessel, American Challenger, being towed southward by the Tug Hunter from Puget Sound, Washington, when the Tug Hunter lost propulsion due to rope entangling the propeller. 

Watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill crew to monitor both vessels as deteriorating sea conditions and visibility caused towing to be unfeasible. The Tug Hunter was anchored and later towed to Sausalito by the Tug Scorpius. The Hawksbill crew remained on scene with the American Challenger and at 1 a.m. the crew reported the vessel grounded on rocks in a remote area south of Estero de San Antonio. 

An investigation is underway to determine the amount of fuel aboard the American Challenger. Overflights have observed a light sheen from the vessel but it is unknown if the fuel tanks are compromised.

An environmental unit is assessing protection strategies for sensitive sites in the area, including Tomales Bay. 

There have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife.

If oiled wildlife is seen, the public is asked not to approach the animal and instead call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1-877-823-6926.

There are no impacts to commercial traffic or scheduled marine events at this time.

Media inquiries can be directed to sectorsfpao@gmail.com.

Iron Horse Trail Response Update #10

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
California Department of Fish and Wildlife – OSPR
Kinder Morgan

Jan. 23, 2021

• Crews continue to remove petroleum from underneath the San Ramon Bypass Channel in Walnut Creek, downstream from where a Nov. 20 pipeline crack released an estimated 750 to 1000 barrels (31,500 to 42,000 gallons) of petroleum product.

• As of Jan. 21, an estimated 451 barrels (18,948 gallons) of product have been recovered at the incident site via soil excavation and using soil vapor extraction and vacuum trucks.

• The California State Fire Marshal is conducting an ongoing investigation. A nearby tree root system grew around the pipeline segment and a crack was found in the pipeline. The impacted segment was repaired and returned to service on Dec. 9, with a 20 percent reduction in maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP), after thorough testing and approval by the State Fire Marshal.

• Although much of the product remains underground, some has seeped into the San Ramon Bypass Channel through cracks. Crews have applied sealant, which has reduced seepage. Core holes used to access product have also been plugged when not being utilized. The seep sealant areas will be monitored for effectiveness. Crews will also be monitoring the channel over the weekend as water levels rise from storm runoff.

• A sheen in the channel and odors at the Walnut Creek Intermediate School were reported to Unified Command during moderate rains on Jan. 4. Air and surface water monitoring and visual inspection was conducted soon after. No sheen was documented, though the flow had increased in the channel due to heavy rains. Only low VOC concentrations were detected. Staff will continue to conduct monitoring of both air and surface water at this location, and the response is working directly with the school. Students are currently attending class from home due to the pandemic.

• Containment boom has been deployed at the natural creek bed north of the channel.

• Community and work zone air monitoring and on-site security patrols will continue around the clock. Air monitoring has been conducted 24 hours/day since the onset of the response. To date, no hazardous levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene, or lower explosive limits (LEL) from air monitoring have been detected in the community. Cleanup crews working in the channel are required to wear full face respirators in the event that benzene levels reach 0.5 parts per million.

• Summaries of air monitoring results are being shared with stakeholders, including residents in the area, through Liaison updates that are sent each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

• Soil boring and groundwater wells are being utilized/installed to evaluate potential impacts in the area around the site. Residents in the impacted area are also being offered well testing.

• CDFW-OSPR scientists remain engaged in the response. As of January 21st, 17 small dead fish have been recovered in the work area. The cause of death is still undetermined, but a full assessment of spill-related mortality will be conducted. Crews remain on-scene monitoring for further impacts to wildlife.

• Anyone seeing oiled wildlife should not attempt to capture it but should instead report the sighting to OWCN at 1-877-UCD-OWCN (1-800-823-6926). Fisheries closures are not warranted at this time and have not been implemented.

• The incident remains under the authority of a Unified Command, which includes representatives from the U.S. EPA, CDFW-OSPR, and Kinder Morgan.

• Representatives from the City of Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County Health Services are working closely with the Unified Command to ensure public safety and to develop a comprehensive mitigation plan.

• Kinder Morgan has established a toll-free number to report spill related damage.  Please call 1-877-294-8621 to report damages associated with the release.

Media Contact: Eric Laughlin, Public Information Officer, 916-214-3279

Iron Horse Pipeline Response Update #8

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
California Department of Fish and Wildlife – OSPR
Kinder Morgan

Jan. 5, 2020

• Crews continue to remove petroleum from underneath the San Ramon Bypass Channel in Walnut Creek, downstream from where a Nov. 20 pipeline crack released an estimated 750 to 1000 barrels (31,500 to 42,000 gallons) of petroleum product.

• As of Jan. 5, an estimated 390 barrels (16,384 gallons) of product has been recovered at the incident site via soil excavation and using soil vapor extraction and vacuum trucks. The latter two methods will resume once weather conditions change and channel surface water levels subside.

• The California State Fire Marshal is conducting an ongoing investigation. A nearby tree root system grew around the pipeline segment and a crack was found in the pipeline. The impacted segment was repaired and returned to service on Dec. 9, with a 20 percent reduction, after thorough testing and approval by the State Fire Marshal.

• Although much of the product remains underground, some has seeped into the San Ramon Channel through cracks. Crews have applied sealant, which has reduced seepage. Core holes used to access product have also been plugged when not being utilized.

• A sheen in the channel and odors at the Walnut Creek Intermediate School was reported to Unified Command during moderate rains on Jan. 4. Air and surface water monitoring and visual inspection was conducted soon after. No sheen was documented, though the flow had increased in the channel due to heavy rains. Only low VOCs were detected. Staff will continue to monitor this location and is working directly with the school. Students are currently attending class from home due to the pandemic.

• Containment boom has been deployed at the natural creekbed north of the channel.

• Community and work zone air monitoring and on-site security patrols will continue around the clock. Air monitoring has been conducted 24 hours/day since the onset of the response and no hazardous readings have been measured in public areas. Cleanup crews working in the channel will be required to wear full face respirators when benzene levels reach 0.5 parts per million.

• Air monitoring results summaries are being shared daily with stakeholders including residents in the area.

• Soil boring and groundwater wells are being utilized/installed to evaluate potential impacts in the area around the site. Residents in the impacted area are also being offered well testing.

• CDFW-OSPR scientists remain engaged in the response. As of Jan. 5, 17 small dead fish have been recovered in the work area. The cause of death is still undetermined, but a full assessment of spill-related mortality will be conducted. Crews remain on-scene monitoring for further impacts to wildlife.

• Anyone seeing oiled wildlife should not attempt to capture it/them but should instead report the sighting to OWCN at 1-877-UCD-OWCN (1-800-823-6926). Fisheries closures are not warranted at this time and have not been implemented.

• The incident remains under the authority of a Unified Command, which includes representatives from the U.S. EPA, CDFW, and Kinder Morgan.

• Representatives from the City of Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County Health Services are working closely with the Unified Command to ensure public safety and to develop a comprehensive mitigation plan.

• Kinder Morgan has established a toll-free number to report spill related damage.  Please call 1-877-294-8621 to report damages associated with the release.

Media Contact: Eric Laughlin, Public Information Officer, 916-214-3279

Crews have maintained containment and absorbent boom in the channel in an effort to keep petroleum product out of the natural creekbed.

Iron Horse Trail Response Update #7

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
California Department of Fish and Wildlife – OSPR
Kinder Morgan

Dec. 30, 2020

Crews continue to remove petroleum from underneath the San Ramon Bypass Channel in Walnut Creek, downstream from where a Nov. 20 pipeline crack released an estimated 750 to 1000 barrels (31,500 to 42,000 gallons) of product.

As of Dec. 30, an estimated 377 barrels (15,834 gallons) of petroleum have been recovered. The impacted pipeline segment was repaired and returned to service with a 20 percent reduction, after thorough testing and approval by the State Fire Marshal.

Removal efforts over the past week have primarily included vapor extraction from flap gates in the channel, as vacuum trucks have recovered much of the product accessible in the area of Bradley Avenue. Core holes used to access product have been plugged when not being utilized, and sealant used on cracks in the channel has significantly reduced petroleum seepage.

Soil boring and groundwater wells are being utilized/installed to evaluate potential impacts in the area around the site. Residents in the impacted area are also being offered well testing.

Air monitoring has been conducted around-the-clock since the onset of the response and no hazardous readings have been measured in public areas. Cleanup crews working in the channel will be required to wear full face respirators when benzene levels reach 0.5 parts per million.

Air monitoring results summaries are being shared daily with stakeholders including residents in the area.

CDFW-OSPR scientists remain engaged in the response. As of Dec. 30, 17 small dead fish have been recovered in the work area. The cause of death is still undetermined, but a full assessment of spill-related mortality will be conducted. Crews remain on-scene monitoring for further impacts to wildlife.

Containment boom has been deployed at the natural creekbed north of the channel.

Representatives from the City of Walnut Creek and Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Division are working closely with the Unified Command to ensure public safety and to develop a comprehensive environmental mitigation plan.

The incident remains under the authority of a Unified Command, which includes representatives from the U.S. EPA, CDFW, and Kinder Morgan.

Kinder Morgan has established a toll-free number to report incident claims. That number is 1-877-294-8621.

This photo shows the site after daytime operations concluded on Dec. 29. The area is being monitored around the clock by security guards; the ladder is maintained for emergency evacuation purposes for crews working in the channel.

Safety Fact Sheet – 12/23/20

A multi-agency Unified Command (consisting of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife – Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and Kinder Morgan) has assumed all planning and operations to mitigate the estimated 31,500 to 42,000 gallons of petroleum that remains underground beneath the San Ramon Channel. (As of Dec. 23, an estimated 347 barrels (14,574 gallons) of product has been recovered).

The health and safety of the community residents, the environment, and crew members onsite remains the top priority of all regulatory agencies and Kinder Morgan.

Unified Command has established the following mitigating measures to ensure public safety.

Air Monitoring:

• Community air monitoring has been conducted around-the-clock since the onset of the response by CTEH Environmental Services, a third-party contractor specializing in industrial health and safety and air monitoring activities during emergencies. U.S. EPA resources have supplemented air monitoring activities.

• No hazardous readings have been measured in public areas. The real-time air monitoring program evaluates the explosive hazard as well as chemicals of concern for human health.

• A Unified Command-approved comprehensive air monitoring plan has been implemented, with site-specific action levels, to evaluate risks to the community.

• The standards established for the community monitoring vary by chemical constituent, but in general are conservative values which are based on the EPA’s Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGL) program.

• Worksite air monitoring utilizes the threshold limit values (TLV) and short-term exposure limits (STEL) established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). For example, the action level for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a 30-ppm reading sustained for 5 minutes, which will triggers the action to measure for other constituents. Separate work zone-related action levels have been established in the direct vicinity of where crews are working in the channel.

• Worker health and safety is continuously being evaluated. You may see workers wearing various forms of personal protective equipment (including respirators) to ensure their safety.

• To date, over 5,000 air monitoring readings in the community have been obtained. No detectable levels of explosivity oof any chemical constituent
have been detected.

• Daily liaison updates, provided Mondays through Saturdays, will include airmonitoring summaries.

Activities Onsite:

•Access is controlled and limited in the immediate vicinity of the work zone to protect safety of responders and the public. 

• Equipment and vehicles within the work area are carefully evaluated and controlled to not introduce an ignition hazard due to the proximity to the petroleum product being recovered. This process includes instrumentation that is intrinsically safe for use in explosive environments and materials selection to mitigate the concern for static charge (e.g., no plastic pipes).

• Diesel powered vehicles enter the channel only after real-time air monitoring has confirmed conditions are safe to do so.

• Petroleum product expressing itself through the channel bottom is captured using absorbent pads and booms to minimize surface area of exposure and volatilization as vapors.

• Specific activities within the incident response area are also carefully selected to mitigate any explosivity concerns. For instance, rigorous safety measures are being implemented with concrete coring, which provides access to petroleum product beneath the channel floor so that it may be removed. The equipment selected for this purpose utilizes a remote hydraulically powered coring machine that operates at slow speed using diamond cutting heads while presenting a complete flood of water at the coring point to mitigate any ignition hazard when in contact with petroleum product.

• Vapor recovery of subsurface soil gas using powerful vacuum equipment to reduce the concentration of vapors is ongoing. The presence of high concentration vapors in the subsurface is not uncommon in release incidents since it is near the petroleum source material. However, there are no ignition sources present below the channel nor adequate void space within this gravel layer to allow for a fire condition. Additionally, utility surveys have been performed to identify and monitor any other paths of migration away from the San Ramon Bypass Channel corridor.

 • The work zones are continuously monitored for worker and community safety and health.

• A daily health and safety meeting is performed prior to all work activities.

• Crews are following CDC requirements by adhering to COVID-19 prevention measures including wearing face coverings, enhanced cleaning protocols forequipment, personal hygiene and handwashing, limiting site access and screening for COVID-19 symptoms. 

Ongoing Site Assessment Activities to Evaluate Extent:

• Collection and evaluation of all subsurface utility maps.

• Evaluation of the topography and hydrogeology of the area. 

• Collection of soil and ground water samples and submittal of samples for laboratory analysis.

• Permitting has been initiated and access agreements will be executed to further install soil borings and ground water monitoring wells to determine the vertical and horizontal extent of the impacts. 

About Gasoline:

• Gasoline is a conglomeration of chemicals. Some of those chemicals have very low odor thresholds – parts per billion or parts per trillion range. Although the nose detects it and tells the brain it is gasoline, it is not at a level that would be of a health concern.

• Gasoline is a highly flammable product and its vapors may be toxic to birds and mammals at high concentrations.

• Four dead minnows were recovered in the work area on Tuesday, December 22. Cause of death is undetermined at this time, but a full assessment of spill-related mortality will be conducted once the spill is over. Crews are on scene monitoring for further impacts to wildlife. 

2004 Pipeline Incident in Walnut Creek:

• On Nov. 9, 2004, a third-party crew with a backhoe installing a water-district main near Newell Ave. and South Broadway in Walnut Creek, CA, punctured a high- pressure products pipeline. The resulting explosion killed 5 construction workers and injured 4 others.

• The 2004 and 2020 incidents are not related. The 2004 incident was instantaneous.

• It was later found that the backhoe was too close to the pipeline because pre- project planning did not detect a bend in the line to accommodate a tree, which had since been cut down.

• CalOSHA, the state workplace safety regulator, found that Kinder Morgan had failed to mark a bend in the Walnut Creek line and found the company at fault.

• The 2020 impacted pipeline segment has been repaired and tested, and with the approval of the California State Fire Marshall, was placed back in service on Dec. 9, 2020. 

• Current operations to recover the product are carefully designed by Unified Command to minimize impact with stringent safety protocols.

Pipeline Integrity Management:

• As part of this incident, a thorough review of the pipeline segment is ongoing, with oversight from all applicable regulatory authorities. On Dec. 9, 2020, the State Fire Marshal conducted an assessment and concluded that it was safe to operate the line with a 20% pressure reduction in our MAOP (Maximum Allowed Operating Pressure).

Remediation:

• Kinder Morgan has committed to long-term remedial efforts.

• A Surface Water Sampling Program, Supply Well and Utility Corridor Assessment, Groundwater Characterization Work Plan, and Soil Vapor Delineation and Threat Assessment Work Plan have been requested by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Water:

• To address concerns of potentially impacted well water contamination, nearby residents’ wells will be tested and lab analysis results provided.

Who to contact:

• For additional information and to subscribe to regular email updates, contact the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), OSPRliaison@wildlife.ca.gov

• To report possible damages, please call 1-877-952-3317.

Iron Horse Trail Response Update #5

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Kinder Morgan

Dec. 21, 2020

Cleanup crews continue to make progress removing gasoline from underneath the San Ramon Channel in Walnut Creek, downstream from where a Nov. 20 pipeline crack released between 750 to 1000 barrels (31,500 to 42,000 gallons) of product.

Removal efforts include use of vacuum trucks, which are collecting product from core holes drilled in the concrete channel, soil vapor extraction from flap gates in the channel, and skimming of any product that has accumulated at the surface of the channel. As of Dec. 21, an estimated 318 barrels (13,356 gallons) of product has been recovered.

Groundwater monitoring wells are being installed to evaluate potential impacts in the area around the site.

Air monitoring has been conducted around-the-clock since the onset of the response and no hazardous readings have been measured in public areas. Cleanup crews working in the channel will be required to wear full face respirators when benzene levels reach 0.5 parts per million.

The U.S. EPA has mobilized additional resources for air monitoring and both groups of air monitors will continue around-the-clock efforts to collect data. Result summaries on data will be shared daily with stakeholders including residents in the area.

CDFW-OSPR scientists remain engaged in the response and there have been no impacted wildlife observed to date.

The incident remains under the authority of a Unified Command, which includes representatives from CDFW, the U.S. EPA, and Kinder Morgan.

Kinder Morgan has established a toll-free number to report incident claims. That number is 1-877-294-8621.

Unified Command established Update #4

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Kinder Morgan

Dec. 16, 2020

A Unified Command has been established to oversee operations stemming from last month’s pipeline release in Walnut Creek. The command includes representatives from California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Kinder Morgan, which operates the pipeline.

The command will collectively approve ongoing plans to mitigate the estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels (31,500 to 42,000 gallons) of gasoline that remains in rocks and soil adjacent to the pipeline below the San Ramon Channel. So far, vacuum trucks have removed an estimated 75 barrels (3,150 gallons) of product. The release stemmed from tree intrusion in the area of South Broadway on Nov. 20.

This week, contractors continue efforts to remove product which may accumulate at the surface, and remove underground product through existing core holes in the concrete. Efforts have also been underway to construct dam structures to contain excess rainwater from this week’s forecasted storm. Surface water sampling will be conducted, and containment and absorbent booms remain deployed to collect/contain additional product.

Product sheen has not been observed downstream in the natural section of the waterway.

Air monitoring by a third party contractor continues around the clock, and preliminary findings have indicated no hazardous levels of hydrocarbons outside/above the channel.

OSPR crews continue to monitor for impacted wildlife and have not made any observations to date.

Iron Horse Trail Pipeline Response Update #3

Dec. 14, 2020

CDFW-OSPR crew continues to monitor the ongoing response to a pipeline release in the San Ramon Channel in Walnut Creek. Contractors constructed a storm flow system to contain gasoline which may accumulate and divert clean rainwater around the section of the channel that has been releasing product. Moderate rains Sunday caused a failure in the diversion dams, but an OSPR scientist has not observed fuel downstream in the natural creek bed. A higher dam structure will be built prior to Wednesday’s forecasted storm. No impacted wildlife have been observed/reported.

Vacuum trucks have removed product and the estimated amount recovered is 62 barrels (2,604 gallons). Remediation will be ongoing to remove and biodegrade the remaining product still underground.

Iron Horse Trail Pipeline Response Community Fact Sheet

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Kinder Morgan

Dec. 11, 2020

BACKGROUND
• Underground gasoline spill resulted from a pipeline release reported on Nov. 20.
• Preliminary findings indicate the pipeline was compromised by a tree root system, which was first reported and responded to on Nov. 20 in the area of South Broadway in Walnut Creek. An additional report of gasoline odor was later reported further north on Dec. 2, in the Walnut Creek Flood Control drainage channel at the intersection of Walnut Creek and San Ramon Bypass, near the Iron Horse Trail footbridge just south of Ygnacio Valley Road. Initially, the two reports were thought to be unrelated until recent analysis connected both to the same source.
• Crews have fully repaired the pipeline and it resumed full operations on Dec. 9, in accordance with the State Fire Marshal.
• Analysis has determined a potential discharge of between 750 and 1,000 barrels (31,500 to 42,000 gallons) of product. Only a minimal amount of the quantity has reached the surface of the drainage channel; the rest remains underground in rocks and soil.

CLEANUP/MITIGATION
• A strategic cleanup response has been initiated, incorporating vacuum trucks and absorbent materials within the drainage channel.
• The goal is to remove as much product as possible, without causing additional environmental harm, or placing the public or responders at risk.
• As of Dec. 10, an estimated 62 barrels, or 2,604 gallons of product have been recovered.
• In recent days, crews have worked around the clock to remove product from the channel. Residents have reported noise and vibrations during the overnight hours. While the first priority remains recovering as much product as quickly as possible, the response will transition to a long-term remediation project, which will return operations to normal daytime hours for most activities.

SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT/WILDLIFE
• California Department of Fish and Wildlife response scientists have been monitoring the San Ramon Bypass Channel, as well as downstream waterways. No impacted wildlife have been observed/reported throughout the course of the response.
• California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network is ready to respond to any potential reports involving impacted wildlife.
• Kinder Morgan responders have continually conducted air monitoring in and around the drainage channel. Their preliminary findings indicated no hazardous levels of hydrocarbons.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF FORECASTED STORM
• The National Weather Service is forecasting rain for the area, beginning in the evening of Friday, Dec. 11, and continuing through the weekend. The rain accumulation is not expected to cause significant additional water flow in the drainage channel because of dry conditions and minimal anticipated rainfall.
• As a precaution, Kinder Morgan has installed a diversion dam upstream of the work area to send flows into the existing natural section of San Ramon Creek through downtown Walnut Creek. There may be a slight increase in water level in the downtown area, but no flooding will occur due to the restricted size of the diversion pipe.

INVESTIGATION
• Kinder Morgan is conducting a thorough investigation. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response is required by statute to determine the cause of a pipeline spill threatening state waters, with assistance as needed from State Fire Marshal, or other state and local agencies. The State Fire Marshal has safety and regulatory authority over intrastate pipelines and is also responsible for investigating pipeline spills.

Cuyama River Incident – Unified Command Update #8

UPDATE 4/3/20 – Cleanup is now complete at the Cuyama River in Santa Barbara County, where a tanker truck accident resulted in the release of 4,500 gallons of crude oil on March 21.

Members of the Unified Command leading the response walked through the entire site today and agreed that all cleanup endpoints in the Incident Action Plan have been met.
All of the underflow dams once used to contain the oil have been removed and the shoreline restored.

Equipment decontamination and demobilization will take place next week, along with additional analysis and investigation.

Crews have been following stringent safety protocols in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. No illnesses were reported during the course of the response.

Nine Western pond turtles recovered oiled during the response remain in care at Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay. They will eventually be released where they were recovered. More wildlife information can be found at Owcn.org.

Media Contact: Eric Laughlin, Incident PIO, 916-214-3279

Cuyama final

Cuyama River Incident – Unified Command Update #7

UPDATE 3/31/20 – Cleanup crews remain committed to removing crude oil from the Cuyama River and shoreline in Santa Barbara County. With much of the oil removed from the water, the focus has been on rocks, cobble and vegetation in the area surrounding the March 21 tanker truck accident.

Rock and cobble are being cleaned by hand, and vegetation is cleaned when possible or otherwise removed.

The impacted area has been split up into five divisions as part of the Incident Action Plan developed by the multi-agency Unified Command. The Plan also includes considerations to protect responders from COVID-19. No illnesses have been reported.

Crews are continually monitoring the area downstream of the containment zone and have not observed oil past that point.

To date, oiled wildlife collected include one belted kingfisher (died at care facility), three mallard ducks (two collected dead and one died at care facility), nine Western pond turtles, two California red-legged frogs (a federally-threatened species), one Western toad, 2 Baja CA tree frogs and two additional tree frogs of species yet to be determined. There was also a non-steelhead fish collected dead. All of the turtles and amphibians survived after being cared for by the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN). The toad and one of the frogs were released a safe distance upstream from the incident. The last two frogs have been washed and will be released tonight.

Based on the cleanup status, the Wildlife Branch has determined that the incident and the response no longer pose an imminent threat to wildlife and the wildlife field operations are demobilizing. The turtles in care of Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay will continue to be cared for in accordance with the OWCN protocols for release back to where captured when ready.

Photos show the containment area of the river, and the Western toad during care and while being released.

Media Contact: Eric Laughlin, Incident PIO, 916-214-3279 

Cuyama River Incident – Unified Command Update #6

Update 3/26/20: Cleanup crews have removed most pooled surface oil from the containment area two miles downstream of the March 21 tanker truck accident in Santa Maria. The oil/water mix will be quantified in the coming days as it fully separates.
Rocks and soil are also being cleaned at the accident site and along the shoreline.
The Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) remains on-scene with resources to capture and care for impacted wildlife. Thus far, one dead fish and a dead mallard duck were collected in the field. Two other birds (a second mallard and a belted kingfisher) and two Western pond turtles were recovered alive and taken to Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay for veterinary care. The birds did not survive but the turtles were washed and are recovering. Also recovered alive was a Western toad and a California red-legged frog, a federally-threatened species. Both are receiving care at OWCN’s field stabilization unit. The latest wildlife numbers will be posted at OWCN.org.
As many as 79 people have been involved in this response. A quick containment effort kept the crude oil from reaching Twitchell Dam and Reservoir.

Photographs below show responders at work, drone imagery from 3/25/20, and the Western toad, before and during the cleaning process.

Media Contact: Eric Laughlin, CDFW PIO, 916-214-3279

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Cuyama River Incident – Unified Command Update #4

UPDATE 3/23/20: Containment boom has held up well during the current storm, and vacuum trucks continue to recover oil/water mix from the impacted area. It’s now estimated that 4,500 gallons of crude oil reached the river and surrounding area following the tanker truck accident. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network collected a Western pond turtle and a belted kingfisher (bird). Both are receiving veterinary care at Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay. For more information, visit OWCN.org.

Media contact: Eric Laughlin, PIO, 916-214-3279

Cuyama River Incident – Unified Command Update #3

Santa Maria, Calif. – On March 21, a tanker truck collision on Highway 166 resulted in up to 6,000 gallons of crude oil being released into the Cuyama River, a tributary of the Santa Maria River. A Unified Command has been established to oversee cleanup operations.

A rapid response helped contain the oil upstream from Twitchell Dam and Reservoir, and contractors worked all day Saturday and through the night to construct underflow dams and build a gravel access road so that vacuum trucks can remove the crude oil at the dam sites. The trucks are currently working to remove as much oil as possible before tonight’s forecasted rain.

The Unified Command includes officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, and Golden Valley Transfer.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) has been activated to support the response. Reports of oiled wildlife are being investigated.

Media Contact: Eric Laughlin, CDFW PIO, 916-214-3279