As questions continue about the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach earlier this month, local Democrats who sit on key subcommittees in the US House of Representatives will host a public hearing Monday in Irvine to discuss the implications of the investigation. to testify. the leak.
Reps. Katie Porter of Irvine, Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach and Mike Levine of San Juan Capistrano will lead the session, a joint hearing by House Natural Resources’ subcommittees on Oversight and Investigation and Energy and Mineral Resources. Porter chairs the oversight subcommittee, while Lowenthal chairs the energy subcommittee and Porter and Levine are members.
During the hearing, 12 Democrats and nine Republicans sitting on these subcommittees will hear from witnesses about how an oil spill in coastal waters earlier this month affected local communities, businesses and the environment. The list of witnesses of the Congress was being prepared on Thursday morning.
The investigation is one of several now taking place around the oil spill.
Investigators say about 25,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from a pipeline connected to an offshore oil rig operated by Houston-based Amplify Energy through a subsidiary called Beta Offshore. The company says it became aware of the leak on the morning of October 2, although the smell and oil in the water were reported on the night of October 1.
Preliminary investigations found that a 4,000-foot section of the pipeline had been dismantled by more than 100 feet, with a 13-inch split found in the pipe. US Coast Guard investigators said they believe a ship’s anchor hit the pipeline at some point within the past year, which likely pulled the pipe out of place and damaged a concrete cover around it. done. Later, it could be struck again, or the pipe could weaken or wear out and eventually break.
The US Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are conducting a joint investigation into how the pipeline was displaced, why it burst, and who should be held responsible for the leak.
The California Department of Justice announced Monday that it is working with local, state and federal officials to investigate the spill, which carries possible both civil and criminal charges. And the state assembly has formed a special committee to look into the oil spill, with Assembly Speaker Coty Petri-Norris, D-Laguna Beach, appointed speaker and hearings expected to begin next month.
For Monday’s congressional hearing, the public is invited to appear in person or listen online.
if you go
-Who: The public can listen as members of the House and witnesses discuss the effects of the oil spill
-What: House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing titled “The Southern California Oil Spill: Investigating the Immediate Impact on Communities, Businesses and the Environment”
-When: Monday, October 18 at 9 a.m.
-Where: Irvine Ranch Water District at 15600 Sand Canyon Avenue in Irvine; Interested viewers can also livestream the hearing on YouTube or Facebook Live
Staff writer Alicia Robinson contributed to this report.