"Ever since a pipeline failure caused at least 126,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Pacific Ocean, threatening a fragile coastal ecosystem and forcing some of Southern California’s most popular beaches to close, officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been scrutinizing satellite imagery to track the oil’s spread.
A series of images captures the extent of the spill, showing how tides have carried the slick closer to the coast. Officials have said the spill is the largest off California since 2015, when Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara was fouled by oil from a pipeline break.
The latest spill, thought to be from a decades-old pipeline that connected three platforms to a pumping station in Long Beach, has brought scrutiny to California’s aging offshore oil and gas infrastructure. Some of the oldest platforms still in place were installed in the late 1960s. The episode has also raised questions about the speed of response: Local residents had started to complain about the smell of oil before the state authorities raised the alarm."