“Powerhouse plaintiffs’ firms Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and Robertson & Associates LLP teamed up to file the class action on behalf of a proposed class of commercial fisheries, marine charters and property owners.” — California Daily Journal, October 13, 2021
On Saturday October 2nd, 2021, a failure occurred in a pipeline running from the Port of Long Beach to an offshore oil platform known as Elly, owned by Amplify Energy and operated by Beta Operating Company. The failure caused what is now estimated to be 144,000 gallons of oil to gush into the Catalina Channel, creating a slick that spans over 8,000 acres. The spill has left oil along long stretches of beach in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach, killing fish and birds and threatening ecologically sensitive wetlands in what officials are calling an environmental disaster. Commercial fishing off this part of the coast is now closed, severely affecting fishers and fish processors throughout the region. Homeowners with beachfront properties or easements are also impacted, as are city beaches.
Experts say the oil will likely continue to encroach on Orange County beaches and they may be closed for months. Officials have indicated they are seeing evidence of oil on numerous beaches, and also noted that the affected area could increase depending on ocean currents. Authorities are continuing to investigate the cause of the spill and say the timeline for cleaning up the area’s beaches remains unclear.