Workers clean up oil spill on California beaches by hand

Jun 21, 2015 2:42 PM by News Staff

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) - Workers in hard hats and white protective suits are using wire brushes and putty knives to scrape oil off cobblestones and cliff faces a month after a crude oil spill along the California coast spoiled beaches and prompted a fishing ban.

It's a painstaking task, but a decision was made early on not to use heavy equipment or chemicals at Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara and other parts of the coastline because the region is home to threatened species and cultural resources.

Progress has been made in corralling the slick in the ocean and removing flecks of oil on sandy beaches. But scrubbing rocks by hand will take time.

The May 19 spill occurred after an underground pipeline ruptured. The environmental toll is still being tallied.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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