The broken onshore pipeline spewed oil down a storm drain and into the ocean for several hours Tuesday before it was shut off, creating a slick some 4 miles long about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara.
Initial estimates put the spill at about 21,000 gallons, but that figure would likely change after a Wednesday flyover gave a better sense of the scope, U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Jennifer Williams said.
Authorities responding to reports of a foul smell near Refugio State Beach around noon found a half-mile slick in the ocean, county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. They traced the oil to the pipeline that spilled into a culvert running under a highway and into a storm drain that empties into the ocean.
Source: Seattle Times