Frequently asked questions – Grove Incident

Grove Incident Unified Command

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response
Crimson Pipeline

SPILL

When and where did this oil spill happen?

At about 5:50 a.m. on June 23, 2016, a pipeline spill was reported to the California Office of Emergency Services in Ventura County. Crimson Pipeline immediately shut down the line, and the spill was contained in Hall Creek Channel in the vicinity of Grove Lane and Grove Street, in the City of Ventura.

What kind of oil was in the pipeline? Who owns the pipeline?

Crimson Pipeline owns the line that was transporting unrefined crude.

Did any oil get into water in the creek channel? What happens if it rains? Will the oil reach the ocean?

The Hall Creek Channel was dry and did not contain any water at the time of the spill. The oil was quickly contained behind earthen berms, and currently there is no threat to the ocean. Additional measures are being taken to assure potential rainwater could not cause any remaining oil in the canyon to reach the ocean.

CLEANUP

Who is in charge of managing cleanup efforts?

A Unified Command consisting of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response, and Crimson Pipeline are overseeing cleanup operations. Specially-trained oil spill contractors are cleaning up the spill in conjunction with local, state and federal responders.

What is being done to clean up the oil? Who’s paying for everything?

All costs associated with the cleanup will be covered by Crimson Pipeline.

Initially, pooled oil was removed by vacuum trucks. Remaining oil is being diluted with a well-controlled water stream and recollection method.  Other methods are now being evaluated for the different types of streambed terrain, such as boulders, cobble and other sediment. Final cleanup methods will likely include hand cleaning of rocks. Debris is also being removed by crews.

How long will cleanup crews be in the neighborhood?

Proper and thorough cleanup takes time. It may take a number of weeks to completely remove the oil and restore the Hall Creek Channel to its natural state. Steep terrain has led additional safety measures.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Sometimes I can smell the oil. Is the air bad for my health?

The air is being monitored continuously during the day and night by a third-party company that specializes in air quality testing. All readings conducted to date indicate the air is safe for residents. Safety of residents and responders is our top priority. If you find the smell annoying, you may wish to remain indoors and keep doors and windows closed.

Can we take walks in the neighborhood near the cleanup area?

The public is advised to avoid the immediate spill area and keep pets on leashes. Please allow the cleanup personnel the space they need to safely continue cleanup operations.

Are these pipelines inspected by the government?

Intrastate pipelines in California are under jurisdiction of the Pipelines Safety Division of Cal Fire. California has one of the most stringent pipeline safety laws in the nation.

Why are these pipelines in and around a residential area?

Most pipelines were installed long ago, with no houses or businesses around them. As the population increases and open lands are developed, some residential areas are built in and around pipelines.

WILDLIFE

Were any animals affected by the oil?

Three rats, one gopher snake, a raccoon and a rabbit were collected in the area and are being processed by the Oiled Wildlife Care Network for confirmation and identification. It has yet to be confirmed whether or not the deaths were linked to this oil spill. Specially trained wildlife personnel continue to work at deterring wildlife from entering the spill area and continue to search for oiled wildlife.

What should I do if I see oiled wildlife?

Do not attempt to rescue any oiled wildlife you may observe. Untrained individuals who attempt to rescue wildlife may be injured by or cause more harm to the wildlife. Please report any observed oiled wildlife to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network by calling 1-877-823-6926.

What if I have questions or concerns?

If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the Grove Incident Neighborhood Response Number at 805-833-0177.