Mini oil spill sparks big response

small pool of leaking oil from abandoned pipeline in Castaic. courtesy photo by Kara Wily.

Come listen to my story about woman named Kara who was out with her dog when she saw something scary.

Oil, that is, a black oozing mess.

On Wednesday, Kara Wily called the Environmental Protection Agency which, in turn, notified five different state agencies about an abandoned oil pipeline she found leaking near the undeveloped property near Hasley Canyon Road and Del Valle Road.

About a gallon of oil dripped onto the Castaic earth and collected there as a result of a faulty oil pipeline which officials believe had been leaking for about one week.

“I run there every day with my dog,” Wily told The Signal Thursday.

On Wednesday morning, however, she came across the spilled oil and took photos with her phone.

“I tried to call the right agencies,” she said, noting the EPA took her report and followed up with her later the same day.

“I did get a call back,” she said. “I was told (the California Department of) Fish & Wildlife were looking into it.”

Fish & Wildlife spokeswoman Mary Fricke said an officer from her department went out to inspect the pipe.

“Our responding officer told me it was an abandoned pipeline next to Crimson Pipeline,” she said, stressing the leaking pipe had nothing to do with Crimson Pipeline.

“The pipe did not belong to them and it was not on their property,” Fricke said. “They were called because they were the closest oil company nearby.”

Officials with the company responded – even though it was not their pipeline – came out and fixed the problem, Fricke said.

“They cut the line and capped it,” she said. “They cleaned up the residue that got into the soil. They said it was less than a gallon.”

Officials at the California Office of Emergency Services were also notified of the mini oil spill  on Hasley Canyon Trail and prepared a Hazardous Spill Report, obtained by The Signal.

Caloes report writers described the incident as: “The release could possibly be due to a leaking 3-inch pipe valve, material is pooling onto the soil, the material has been leaking for approximately one week, the release is ongoing and no mitigation efforts have been observed.”

That report was filed at shortly after 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, before Fish & Wildlife officers inspected the leak.  They described the oil as: oil, raw, black.

Investigators concluded no water was involved and no drinking water impacted by the spill.

The intersection of Hasley Canyon Road and Del Valle Road flooded a couple of times this past winter as heavy rains hit the area.

In February, despite the closure of both roads around the intersection, a few motorists ignored the signs and drove through the intersection. On one occasion, a bulldozer was brought in to rescue a motorist stranded in the flooded area.

The undeveloped area on the north side of Hasley Canyon Road has been the site of the planned Los Valles project which remained in the works for more than a decade.

In February, the Los Valles project – between Castaic Middle School to the north of it and Hasley Canyon Road to the south, near Del Valle Road – was approved by the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission.

Seven years ago, the Los Valles property was eyed for the construction of 200 luxury homes next to a golf course designed by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.

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