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Major Oil Spill Occurs in California, Again

A Ventura, California, fire-engineering service reported Thursday that about 29,000 gallons of oil had spilled from an underground California coastal pipeline, several miles from the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

The pump allowing the oil to flow was shut down after residents informed local police and contacted an emergency hotline regarding the leak.

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Firefighters rushed to the scene and managed to prevent crude oil from flowing into the ocean by building a dirt dam, as they had been taught just two weeks ago, during exercise with oil pipeline operator Crimson Pipeline, and an oil spill cleanup company. No evacuations have been ordered.

The rupture took place in the Hall Canyon area in Ventura County. Oil began to spill early in the morning from a line running from Ventura to a refinery in Los Angeles, and flowed into the lengthy Prince Barranca ravine that ends near the Ventura Pier. According to Crimson Pipeline spokeswoman Kendall Klingler, the oil did not reach the coast.

​"The initial concern was that there was a chance that it could have made its way further," she said. "But the spill was contained very early on and a lot of damage has been mitigated because of that."

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A cleanup is underway, but the environmental impact is yet to be determined.

Crimson Pipeline operates 661 miles of oil and gas pipelines in the regions around Los Angeles and has had 10 spills since 2006, due to various reasons, including corrosion, poor maintenance and excavation damage.

Those spills, combined, total some 313,000 gallons of crude oil leaked into the local environment, and have caused some $5.9 million in property damage, according to accident reports submitted by the company to federal regulators.

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