Goleta Responds to the Refugio Oil Spill

Oil Spill Clean Up

The Refugio Oil Spill hit our community a little over three weeks ago and the City of Goleta has been actively involved in the Emergency Operations Center and Incident Command. Over 1,000 individuals and 85 agencies are working on this incident in a variety of capacities from clean up to monitoring to communications and much more. A website on the oil spill response by Incident Command can be found at www.refugioresponse.com. There you can find the latest information and sign up for updates.

A community meeting was held at the Elks Lodge to offer individuals the opportunity to speak directly with responders on a variety of issues — environmental impacts, oil technology, claims information, impacts on wildlife and volunteering.  Over 180 people took advantage of the opportunity to speak to the various agency representatives and the City was pleased to be a part of this event. Several short video interviews with responders at the event can be found here.

As the community grapples with the impacts of this incident many questions are being raised. How and why did this happen? Were the appropriate monitoring measures in place? Could and should the response have been faster? These questions and many others will be answered as part of the on-going investigation. At this time, the City’s role is in working on the incident response in incident command.  We do not, at this time, have a role in the investigation. A different team of individuals and agencies outside of the incident command is conducting the investigation. The City is very interested in the results of the investigation and will share information as it is public.

BUSINESS IMPACTS: Businesses and individuals that have experienced a loss because of this incident can file a claim at 866-753-3619. Information on the process and Small Business Loans are available at www.refugioresponse.com.

OILED WILDLIFE REPORTING: To report oiled wildlife, call 877-823-6926.

VOLUNTEERS: Thank you to all those who have volunteered and signed up to take the trainings.  It’s been wonderful to see the hundreds of people who are interested in helping out. More information on volunteer opportunities can be found at www.calspillwatch.com.

We’d also like to recognize our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers who have put in hours at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and on beach clean ups.  We plan and prepare for emergencies and it’s great to call upon these pre-trained individuals in our time of need.  For more information about becoming a CERT volunteer, contact Luz Reyes-Martin at mailto: lreyesmartin@cityofgoleta.org.

Comments on the oil spill can be sent to mailto: oilspill@cityofgoleta.org.