The Long Beach Fire Department in collaboration with other City of Long Beach governmental agencies have determined that in the best interest of public safety, the immediate closure of area beaches is required from 1st Place through 72nd Place. Throughout the day, various amounts of “Tar Balls” have washed up on shore and have created a public and environmental health concern. Agency representatives from the United States Coast Guard are onscene collecting samples of the petroleum based product for further testing. Cleanup operations have been mobilized and City resources will work diligently to minimize the impact on local area beaches. Volunteer efforts will be coordinated through the activation of the Long Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to assist with clean-up efforts.
Due to the public’s heightened awareness of “Tar Balls” on local beaches after recent incidents in the South Bay area, we ask that all reports of oil debris be directed to the National Response Center (NRC) Hotline at 1-800-424-8802. Source testing is underway to determine if there is a possible relation to the Santa Barbara oil spill that occurred May 19, 2015. There are no indications that this incident is related to any Long Beach Gas and Oil operations. Continued testing will be required to determine exact origin of this product. City residents are advised to keep off of our local area beaches due to the possibility of unsafe conditions. Contact with oil tars may cause skin irritation and long-term health effects. Beach users are advised to avoid contact with the oil tars washed onshore and/or found in the water. The Long Beach Fire Department has established the incident command post in the parking lot at LaVerne Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.
We will have a full report tomorrow.