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California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that the California Department of Justice is investigating the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach. The California Department of Justice will work in coordination with other state, local, and federal authorities to determine the cause of the spill and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent or minimize the disaster. Attorney General Bonta, along with U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, traveled to Orange County today for a special briefing by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the company responsible for the spill, Amplify Energy, to discuss the emergency response to the oil spill.

Contractors remove oil near a marsh area in Huntington Beach, California, Oct 6, 2021. The crews worked alongside federal, state, and local partners, ensuring cleanup efforts were conducted efficiently and with minimal impact to the environment. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Janessa Warschkow.)

“The oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach is an environmental disaster with far-reaching consequences for our fish and wildlife, for our communities, and for our economy,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “I want to thank all our local, state, and federal partners who are working around the clock to protect the health and safety of Californians and to mitigate the damage to our environment and natural resources. In times of crisis, it takes all of us – working together – to get the job done. My office is committed to devoting the people and the resources necessary to ensure this environmental disaster is fully investigated, and we will follow the facts wherever they lead us.”

“It is unacceptable that Californians are once again facing the devastating effects of an offshore oil spill,” said Senator Padilla. “The trade-off between oil production and environmental harm is simply not one we should be making any longer, especially given how fossil fuel emissions are exacerbating the climate crisis. Already, this oil has seeped into environmentally sensitive wetlands, endangering birds and other wildlife, and forcing the closure of beaches that are the economic engines of entire communities. I am committed to fulfilling the promises we made to our children and our constituents that we will act boldly to meet the urgency of this crisis.”

Attorney General Bonta is committed to protecting California’s people, environment, and natural resources. In his first days in office, Attorney General Bonta announced the expansion of the Department’s Bureau of Environmental Justice in order to better assist and lift up the voices of those communities that live at the intersection of poverty and pollution. More recently, Attorney General Bonta called on Congress to take bold action to address climate change and environmental justice. Attorney General Bonta also filed four amicus briefs in support of city, county, and state efforts to hold the major fossil fuel producing companies accountable for their contributions to the climate crisis. Later this month, attorneys from the California Department of Justice will be in court challenging the Department of the Interior’s decision to allow well stimulation treatments, including hydraulic fracturing and acidizing, for oil and gas development off the coast of Southern California.