Authorities probe California beach oil spill

Oil tarred and blackened - the sandy shores of Huntington Beach after a massive spill over the weekend.

Federal and state investigators on Monday were focusing on the 41-year-old pipeline thought to have sent 3,000 barrels of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean, threatening fish and wildlife.

Cleanup crews dressed in white coveralls and helmets worked along the beach south of Los Angeles. = Birds covered in oil washed up on shore, along with dead fish.

The inlet feeds the Magnolia Marsh, a rehabilitated wetlands. Officials said up to 90 bird species use the area each year, including some that are either endangered or threatened.

An organization dedicated to rescuing animals from oil spills said the disaster has already done damage.

Although so far, the impact has not been as bad as they feared.

"To date, we have collected three live oiled birds. One brown pelican, one American coot, and one ruddy duck. Unfortunately, the pelican had chronic injuries that required us to euthanize it yesterday."

Authorities identified the line under investigation as the San Pedro Bay Pipeline, which connects an offshore oil rig to a site in Eureka, California.

The rig and pipeline are operated by a subsidiary of Houston-based Amplify Energy Corp.

Amplify on Monday did not return a call seeking information.

On Sunday, its chief executive Marty Wilshire said the firm was working to help the cleanup.

“we are fully committed to being out here until this incident is fully concluded and we are working closely with the coast guard, the fish and wildlife, state agencies and local communities to help with all of the recovery efforts…”

Accuweather reported that a coming storm in the Los Angeles area could hamper those efforts.

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