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Oil washes up on shore at Morro Rock Beach

A small amount of oil washed up on the shore at Morro Rock Beach on Saturday, September 30, 2017, stemming from the flushing of two decommissioned oil transfer pipelines.
A small amount of oil washed up on the shore at Morro Rock Beach on Saturday, September 30, 2017, stemming from the flushing of two decommissioned oil transfer pipelines.

A small amount of oil washed up on the shore at Morro Rock Beach on Saturday afternoon, stemming from the flushing of two decommissioned oil transfer pipelines at Morro Bay Power Plant.

In preparation for the removal of the pipelines in 2018, Dynegy, the Houston-based owner of the plant, began to “pig and flush” the buried pipes of any residual material.

During the cleaning process Saturday, one of the pipelines “burped,” and resulted in less than 10 gallons of oil spilling and washing ashore, according to a spokesperson with Morro Bay Harbor Patrol.

A release from the City of Morro Bay said local work vessel “Surveyor” would be performing the necessary ocean work, while all other onshore equipment and work will be performed by Dynegy’s plant property.

“The project has received all necessary permitting,” the release said, “and will be subject to strict environmental and safety conditions and requirements.”

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A small amount of oil washed up on the shore at Morro Rock Beach on Saturday, September 30, 2017, stemming from the flushing of two decommissioned oil transfer pipelines. Courtesy Paula McCambridge

All residual material from the pipes will be contained and treated onshore, and after completion, the pipelines will be filled with clean sea water and sealed for the future removal, the release said.

No impacts on the public or use of the beach or surf are expected.

Those interested in more information on the project are encouraged to call Dynegy representative Ninah Hartley at 805-540-1541 or ninah.r.hartley@dynegy.com.

Coastal Cleanup Day takes place at 30 sites on San Luis Obispo County beaches, creeks, parks and lakes. This event, hosted by ECOSLO, is part of the International Coastal Cleanup organized by the Ocean Conservancy.

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