Huntington Beach spill update as some crude moves south

SAN DIEGO — San Diego leaders have started taking precautions in case oil from last weekend’s pipeline break in Orange County reaches local beaches this week.

“It appears some of the oil is making its way south, but it has however to go into San Diego County waters,” Jeff Toney, who runs the county’s Office of Emergency sets, and Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said in a joint statement. “Some protective measures have been put in place by response agencies including a protective expansion at the mouth of the Santa Margarita River on Camp Pendleton.”

The officials additional that there was “no immediate threat to San Diego County” but said a team was acting proactively to protect local watersheds, beaches and wildlife.

Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority issued a joint statement of their own Wednesday, addressing any possible impact to the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad desalination plant. That facility is San Diego County’s largest single source of locally produced drinking water, generating nearly 80 billion gallons of drought-proof water since it opened in December 2015.

“Water quality in Carlsbad’s Agua Hedionda Lagoon — the desalination plant’s intake source — is continually observed for more than a half- dozen seawater parameters, including oil-in-water concentration,” the statement reads.

“While there has been no indication of oil from Orange County reaching Carlsbad, the facility’s operating team will continue to closely monitor intake water quality,” it continues.

According to the statement, officials are considering another floating expansion, this time placed at the mouth of the lagoon to protect marine life and keep the plant running. It wasn’t closest clear when, or if, that project would be completed.

Coastal residents who see any signs of oil should call 1-877-823-6926. San Diegans can also check for updates and get more information on oil spills on the state website Southern California Spill Response.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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