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Press Release Details

Spill Cleanup Continues at Orange County's Atwood Channel

For Immediate Release
Date: August 31, 2010

Alexia Retallack
Department of Fish and Game
Kevin Mugavero, Bridgemark
Debbie Kroner, OC Public Works

The Unified Command (UC) continues cleanup efforts in Atwood Channel, following the discovery of a 2-inch production line releasing oily water Aug. 27. The Department of Fish and Game (DFG), Orange County Public Works and Bridgemark Corporation created the UC to respond to the release, which affected 1.2 miles of Atwood Channel. All standing oil has been removed and cleanup crews are focusing their efforts on the oiled vegetation and soil in the channel.

"The production line has been secured and repairs have been made," stated Game Warden Christian Corbo, Incident Commander for DFG's Office of Spill Prevention and Response. "Our efforts focus on protecting human health and safety, recovering any oil in the environment, and preventing any additional impacts to the environment and wildlife."

Atwood Channel is a flood control channel that leads to natural drainage. Because of the variability in the ratio of oil to water contained in the material, no estimate of the amount of oil spilled can be obtained at this time. No public health issues have been determined and crews will remain on scene until all of the oil has been removed. In addition to the UC, the City of Placentia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are also onsite.

A wildlife recovery team from DFG's Oiled Wildlife Care Network has collected 10 birds, four of which are being rehabilitated for possible future release.

"There are no sensitive habitats threatened, but the wildlife team will continue to watch for birds," said Corbo. "The activity of the crews in the channel has kept the birds away so we hope to see no further impacts."