Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the Santa Barbara oil spill. Phyllis Grifman, associate director of the USC Sea Grant Program, is quoted i a a University of Southern California press release as saying, “Nothing worked – they found out about this because people camping nearby or living nearby smelled it. Nothing happened on the part of the infrastructure that could shut it down early.” The spill, she notes, sits beteween two areas under protection for endangered marine wildlife. Taj Meshkati, also a USC professor (of engineering) asked, “Why did it take the company so long to detect and stop the leak? This points to an important human problem in the safety culture issue.” Raj Rajagopalan of USC’s Marshall School of Business, an expert on supply chain management, notes “This spill will have an impact on the local tourism industry given that the sight of oil on its pristine beaches does not help and also on local fisheries. There will be a spillover effect from the tourism impact on other local business. But I anticipate that the effect on the economy will be short-term (a few weeks) because the spill is not very large and so hopefully it will be contained soon.”
Governor Jerry Brown is quoted in the BBC as saying he state would “quickly mobilise all available resources. We will do everything necessary to protect California’s coastline.”
The spill is believed to have put about 21,000 gallons of oil in the ocean.