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In case of an oil
spill or gas release:

Call 911

Facility Operators
must also call:

Governor's Office of
Emergency Services

Energy Division

Click here for other
reporting requirements

Click here for normal
business hours contacts

Torch/Platform Irene Oil Spill Restoration

In September 1997, a pipeline owned or operated by Torch Operating Company, Nuevo Energy Company, and Black Hawk Oil & Gas Company ruptured offshore from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) spilling crude oil into the environment. The spill fouled miles of sandy and rocky coast west of Lompoc and wildlife was oiled, including an estimated 800 seabirds along the coast.

The Department of the Interior through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG/OSPR), the California State Lands Commission (CSLC), and the United States Air Force, VAFB are the Trustees for the natural resources injured or damaged by the spill. The Trustees are authorized by federal and state law to assess the injuries and damage caused by the spill, to recover damages or monetary compensation, and to use the damages recovered to restore, rehabilitate, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the affected natural resources.

Santa Barbara County worked with the Trustee agencies to identify potential restoration projects for the natural and recreational resources impacted by the oil spill. The trustees have approximately $1.9 million from the Natural Resources Damage Assessment settlement to fund restoration projects. Proposed restoration projects were presented and alternatives evaluated in the Draft Torch/Platform Irene Oil Spill Restoration Plan. The Draft Plan was circulated for public review and comment and the Final Plan was released October 24, 2007. The Final Plan responds to comments on the Draft Plan and details the selected restoration projects to be implemented. It is available at:

For more information please contact Melissa Boggs-Blalack at OSPR,


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