LONG BEACH – A broken pipeline leaked more than 120 gallons of crude oil into the harbor early Thursday, forcing the partial closure of a shipping channel as authorities worked to contain the spill.
The leak was discovered about 8 a.m. near Berth 55 on Pier C, where a dockworker noticed a petroleum sheen in an area frequented by charter boats.
An oil-spill boom was placed around the channel, and it did not appear that much, if any, of the leaked oil escaped into the outer harbor, said Coast Guard Lt. P.J. Jacquelin.
The source of the spill was reported to be a deteriorated pipeline used by Paramount Petroleum Inc.
The company has assumed financial responsibility for cleaning up the oil, said Nic Samonte of the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard investigators said roughly eight barrels, or 340 gallons, leaked into a Pier C storm drain, and about 120 gallons eventually flowing into the water before the pipeline could be closed, Jacquelin said.
No wildlife was reported harmed, but California Department of Fish and Game officials were closely monitoring birds and sea life late Thursday. The Office of Spill Prevention and Response under Fish and Game have said that no impact has been made to birds in that area and that they will continue to monitor the environment as cleanup continues.
The spill comes less than a week after 210 gallons of diesel fuel was released into the harbor near San Pedro, prompting a $100,000 cleanup just off Terminal Island.
A San Pedro fuel supplier, Jankovich Company, took financial responsibility for that spill, but the exact source of the leaked diesel remains unclear, said Jacquelin.