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Ruptured Pipeline Coats L.A. Streets in ‘Knee-High’ Crude Oil

Ruptured Pipeline Coats L.A. Streets in ‘Knee-High’ Crude Oil

Written by Joanna M. Foster

Residents in Atwater Village in northeast Los Angeles woke up Thursday morning to find crude oil flowing down their streets. A 20 inch wide, above-ground oil line ruptured around 1 a.m., sending a geyser of oil 30 feet into the air according to local reports. The oil has coated a half-square-mile area of the mostly industrial neighborhood.

Oil in some areas is reported to be knee-high. According to current estimates, 10,000 gallons of crude oil poured onto the streets before the line could be remotely turned off. No injuries have been reported so far and the Fire Department and a hazardous materials team remain on the scene. Several businesses — including a nearby nightclub, which was evacuated during the spill — have reported damages. Cars parked near the site of the spill, 5175 W. San Fernando Rd. have also been affected.

The AP reported that Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott says there is no “visible evidence” that the oil has made its way down storm drains, but that it was possible that oil had gotten under manhole covers. If oil does end up in the storm water system, the oil will soon appear in the Los Angeles River, and soon after that in the Pacific Ocean. According to the L.A. Times, emergency teams are using sand to try and keep the oil from spreading.

Neither the Fire Department nor media reports have so far stated which company operates the pipeline.

California’s most devastating oil spill was back in 1969, when 100,000 barrels of crude spilled into the Santa Barbara Channel — an event that helped spark the modern environmental movement.

UPDATE

This piece has been updated to reflect the revised estimate of oil spilled. The Los Angeles Fire Department previously estimated that 50,000 gallons of crude oil had been spilled.

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress

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Photo Credit: NBS News Video

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98 comments

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2:36PM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

Better in the streets than in a forest, a lake or the ocean. Better yet, run a hose into the oil company or Monsanto exec's office or into Congress and start pumping that crude oil until it fills up their nasty little retreats.

10:10PM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

Just another example of the damage the oil companies are doing to the environment and communities. More leaks - going on weekly basis now.

6:33PM PDT on May 18, 2014

Just awful. :0(

1:51PM PDT on May 18, 2014

well they keep pushing in B C for the pipeline and increase in tanker traffic and so far the people of B C keep pushing back .they don't want it or need it here . the x-on vadeze and the ferry sinking are still too fresh in our minds .and especially the ferry , which ran a regular run and still struck and sank .when that happens with the one tanker , there goes our pristine coast line forever and for what ?? funny , Enbridge held a referendum in kitamat where the ferry terminal would be and the town rejected it . too cool . you can be the government and say this will happen but , there are no guarantees there are just way too many people in B C don't want Alberta's dirty oil flowing thru our land .and I've heard people say this is one thing they feel strong enough to fight for , physically .I think have have forgotten clayoquot sound .

1:20AM PDT on May 18, 2014

Not mostly industrial: Atwater Village borders Griffith Park and Silver Lake to the west, Glendale to the north and east, and Glassell Park to the south.15,000 residents in the 1.78-square-mile Atwater Village neighborhood. Much of Atwater Village lies in the old Los Angeles River flood plain. NOTE: It is bounded on the south and west by the LA River (hence its name). So this oil will probably end up in the water and the ocean.

7:46AM PDT on May 17, 2014

All upper management of these oil companies should be required by law to go immediately to the clean up sight, useing their own money and spending as long as it takes , helping to clean up the mess. Nor should they recieve another dime in pay untill the clean up is finished.

4:10AM PDT on May 17, 2014

Sadly noted

4:08AM PDT on May 17, 2014

Terrible. Thank you for the article.

3:38AM PDT on May 17, 2014

How very sad. Can't imagine the animals that will get into this.

1:44AM PDT on May 17, 2014

I should like to add, I live on the west coast of British Columbia, and we live under the daily threat of not only a major pipeline, but tankers filled with oil sands crude ( especially nasty stuff) hanging over our heads like the sword of Damocles. This is being pushed upon the mostly unwilling residents of one of the most unique, important and fragile eco-systems in the world.We have been fighting, so hard, and it is uphill and hard and our adversaries have so much more money and MUST be bribing, as provincial government seem to lean daily more towards opening their arms wide to Enbridge, when once they promised to fight them.

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Lindsay Spangler Lindsay Spangler is a Web Editor and Producer for Care2 Causes. A recent UCLA graduate, she lives in... more
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