Cleanup is now complete at the site of a surface expression of water and oil at the Cymric 1Y Oil Field in Kern County.
The Unified Command overseeing the response agreed on cleanup endpoints proposed by scientists from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR). The site inspections included visual observations and comprehensive drone observations of the dry streambed impacted by the incident.
An estimated 31,903 barrels (1,339,926 gallons) of fluid (oil and water) was recovered from the site since May 10, when the surface expression was first reported.
A Unified Command had been established to enact strategies for cleanup and resource protection at the site. This Command includes representatives from OSPR, the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), Kern County Public Health Department, and Chevron.
Wildlife protection measures continued at the site until all visible oil was removed. Four oiled birds, (three barn owls and a lesser nighthawk) were recovered over the course of the response and did not survive.
Cleanup is nearly complete at the site of a surface expression of oil and water in Kern County. OSPR scientists are working with the Unified Command to develop cleanup endpoints and drone flights are ongoing to help in these assessments.
Excavators worked today to remove oiled sediment surrounding a surface expression that previously discharged oil and water into a dry streambed in Kern County.
Much of the site has now been cleaned, and OSPR scientists are conducting ongoing assessments to develop final cleanup endpoints.
The scientists are also continuing regular drone flights to provide detailed environmental analysis of the site.
Biological monitors remain onsite as cleanup continues. The monitors observed an oiled barn owl in the expression yesterday, which was recovered and did not survive. Previously, two other barn owls (9/16) and a lesser nighthawk (8/14) had been collected oiled and did not survive.
The Oiled Wildlife Care Network remains engaged in the response and methods to deter wildlife from the area will continue.
Excavators moved in today to begin cleaning up the final section of the Kern County dry creek bed impacted by a surface expression of oil and water. Cleanup in the section had been suspended since last month while engineers tested wells in the vicinity to determine the cause of the incident. Well testing will continue, but at a minimum of 600 feet from the excavation site.
Biological monitors will be onsite full time during active remediation operations. Wildlife hazing measures to deter wildlife from the area continue. The hazing program is modified weekly to optimize effectiveness and to avoid habituation by wildlife in the area. To date, two barn owls and a lesser nighthawk, have been discovered oiled. All were recovered and treated by veterinarians but none survived.
OSPR is also continuing weekly drone flights to survey inaccessible areas and generate detailed mapping data for the ongoing response.
Two live barn owls were observed in the expression oil today by a biological monitor during a morning survey. The owls were recovered and transported by OSPR to the Pacific Wildlife Care facility in Morro Bay, under the guidance of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.
Crews continue to monitor the site of a surface expression of oil and water in Kern County, while engineers continue testing wells in the vicinity to determine the cause of the flow.
At this time, cleanup efforts in one section of the site are limited pending completion of the diagnostic work. In the meantime, solids and liquids continue to be handled for disposal.
Biological monitors continue to observe the site twice daily. Wildlife hazing measures to deter wildlife from the area (including propane cannons) continue, and are adjusted to optimize effectiveness and to avoid habituation by wildlife in the area. Staff from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network are also on-site supporting operations. To date, one bird, a lesser nighthawk, was discovered oiled and did not survive.
OSPR is also conducting weekly drone flights to survey inaccessible areas and generate detailed mapping data for the ongoing response.
These photos from Sept. 11 show cleanup progress at the site.