Long Beach
Fire Department

Fire Headquarters
3205 Lakewood Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90808
(562) 570-2500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 06042015A
Updated Beach Closures due to Petroleum Product Washing Ashore
Jake Heflin
(562) 760-6950
Long Beach Fire Department

Long Beach, Calif.  – June 4, 2015 – The Long Beach Fire Department continues to monitor the current situation on our local beaches.  Petroleum based product in the form of "Tar Balls" continue to wash up on our shoreline. Appropriate measures to locate and remove the product continue throughout the day.  In collaboration with the Long Beach Health Department and other City Departments, the situation remains dynamic.  Based on the potential risk to public health, area beaches from 1st Place through 72nd Place will remain closed until further notice at the direction of the City Health Officer.

Various amounts of “Tar Balls” continue to wash up on shore and create a public and environmental health concern.  Agency representatives from the United States Coast Guard were onscene yesterday collecting samples of the petroleum based product for further testing.  The results will be forthcoming.  However, it is unknown how long it will take to receive these results.

Clean-up operations continue to be mobilized and City resources will continue to work diligently to minimize the impact on local area beaches.  Volunteers with the Long Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Long Beach Search and Rescue were onscene earlier today to assist with clean-up efforts.  Ocean Blue is the contracted clean-up agency and continues to work onsite.  Approximately 55 gallons of petroleum based product were recovered from the beach and transported offsite for appropriate disposal. 

Due to the public's heightened awareness of “Tar Balls” on local beaches after recent incidents in the South Bay area, we ask that all reports of oil debris be directed to the National Response Center (NRC) Hotline at 1-800-424-8802. 

Source testing is underway to determine if there is a possible relation to the Santa Barbara oil spill that occurred May 19, 2015.  There are no indications that this incident is related to any Long Beach Gas and Oil operations.  Continued testing will be required to determine exact origin of this product.

City residents are advised to keep off of our local area beaches due to the possibility of unsafe conditions. Contact with oil tars may cause skin irritation and long-term health effects. Beach users are advised to avoid contact with the oil tars washed onshore and/or found in the water.

The Long Beach Fire Department has established the incident command post in the parking lot at LaVerne Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.