Republican Representative Calls on Biden to Declare Disaster Over California Oil Spill

© REUTERS / GENE BLEVINSA fish swims under oil slicks in the Talbert Channel after a major oil spill off the coast of California has come ashore in Huntington Beach, California, U.S. October 3, 2021.
A fish swims under oil slicks in the Talbert Channel after a major oil spill off the coast of California has come ashore in Huntington Beach, California, U.S. October 3, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Representative Michelle Steel, a Republican who represents much of California’s Orange County, is asking US President Joe Biden to issue a major disaster declaration in response to the oil spill that occurred over the weekend.
"I write today asking you to authorize a Major Disaster declaration for Orange County California following the oil spill that occurred off the coast of Huntington Beach on October 2, 2021," "Steel said in her Sunday letter to Biden.
"Officials have estimated that over 130,000 gallons of oil have leaked from an underwater pipeline. I request fast action in approving the Public Assistance and Individual Assistance for all the cities and counties in California that will be affected."
According to the representative, officials have identified a 5.8-mile oil plume running roughly from Huntington Beach Pier to Newport Beach, and people have already reported oil on the beach, as well as dead fish and birds.
The oil spill reached Huntington Beach on Saturday and could have originated from a pipeline that has dumped 126,000 gallons into the waters, according to local authorities.
According to the US Coast Guard, as of Sunday, a total of 1,218 gallons of oily water mixture have been recovered in the area.
Mayor Kim Carr of Huntington Beach called the spill "one of the most devastating situations our community has dealt with in decades."
A Sunday news conference held by local authorities revealed that the pipeline had been shuttered amid the ongoing investigation into the spill, and that divers have yet to pinpoint any additional leakage at the site.
Martyn Willsher, the CEO of Amplify Energy, told reporters during the event that the company would "do everything in our power to make sure this is recovered as quickly as possible."
A county official at the conference had indicated that first responders had so far treated a single ruddy duck that had been affected by the oil spill.
The exact cause of the oil spill remains unclear.
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