Santa Barbara County

US Coast Guard

UPDATE - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 8:38 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department said Wednesday night that the U.S. Coast Guard has determined Wednesday's three-mile-long oil slick off the coast of Goleta was caused by natural seepage.

The county will continue to monitor the sheen's drift in the channel. All Santa Barbara County beaches and parks are open normal hours, as is fishing from the Goleta Pier.

Investigators were called in to determine the slick's source because its large size was cause for concern.

Jordan Bell

After nearly two months of clean up, Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County is re-opening up Friday.  A pipeline leak in May released some 21-thousand-gallons of crude oil into the Santa Barbara Channel.

Flickr member: KOMUnews

Our intense drought has Central Coast fire protection agencies boosting their efforts to crack down on the use of illegal fireworks.

@SBFireInfo Twitter

UPDATE: July 1, 2015 at 5:10 p.m.

Full containment of the Mesa Fire that started Monday near La Purisima Mission in Lompoc is expected early this evening.  Santa Barbara County Fire said earlier today that the 320 acre fire was at 95 percent.

 A cause has yet to be announced, but the department is looking for a couple of kids who may have been hiking in the area at the time.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department

A federal report released Wednesday shows differing accounts of the thickness of the Plains All-American oil pipeline that ruptured in Santa Barbra County back on May 19.

Third party metallurgists in the field following the oil spill reported the pipeline walls were down to an estimated 1/16th of an inch in some places, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) Amended Corrective Action Order (CAO).

Flickr member Damian Gadal

New wineries in Santa Barbara County could face new rules if local leaders approve a list of proposed changes to the county's Winery Ordinance. 

U.S. Coast Guard District 11

Samples are being taken from tar balls showing up on beaches in Southern California to see if the oil could be coming from the pipeline spill in Santa Barbara County.

The LA County Public Health Department closed beaches Wednesday in the South Bay, including Hermosa and Manhattan Beaches, because of the oil. The beaches could open as soon as Friday.

NOAA says its working to track the Refugio spill's movement with help from scientists at UC Santa Barbara. David Valentine is a Professor of Earth Science at UCSB and says tracking this oil presents a unique challenge.

Jordan Bell

Governor Brown declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County Wednesday to aid in cleaning efforts after an oil pipeline rupture at Refugio State Beach.

The ruptured pipeline could have released 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the water off the Santa Barbara County coastline. Crews are working, on and off the shores, to ensure safety and rehabilitate marine life. 

Map: Santa Barbara County Energy Division

Federal, state and local emergency crews were on the scene of a large oil spill along Santa Barbara County's South Coast Tuesday evening.

The US Coast Guard said Tuesday afternoon that the spill stretched roughly four miles in the area of Refugio State Beach.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services said Tuesday night that both the campground and beach areas were closed at Refugio. There was also a warning at El Capitan State Beach.

University of California

Efforts to control the spread of the Asian Citrus Psyllid in Santa Barbara County are ramping up with the use of micro-organisms.

Keeping the pest in check is key to protecting the state's $2 billion citrus industry from a disease known as Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening.

Dr. David Morgan with the California Department of Food and Agriculture said scientists are using a small parasitic wasp that feeds on the psyllids, ultimately killing the pest.

Surendra Dara - University of California

The ongoing drought is causing headaches for local farmers, but according to numbers released Thursday by Santa Barbara County, it hasn't yet hurt the local agriculture industry enough to reverse overall production values.

2014 was another record year for the county's growers, who grossed nearly $1.49 billion. This number is the total of all ag sales in the county and should not be confused with profits.

Strawberries remain the county's top crop, with wine grapes coming in second. Broccoli placed third.

Flickr member Doc Searls

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) is scheduled to hold a special meeting Thursday to update guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions within the County. Specifically, the District is looking at pollution generated by business and industry.

The APCD's Molly Pearson said Wednesday that members will vote on one of two options for updated guidelines. The public will get a chance to speak prior to that vote.

Flickr member Sean MacEntee

Business leaders in Santa Barbara County are coming together Friday in an effort to ensure high speed internet access is available county-wide.

The Santa Barbara Broadband Task Force will meet in Buellton with a goal of expanding the service, says Ken Oplinger with regional Chamber of Commerce.

Assemblymember Das Williams

State Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) announced Monday that he's running for Santa Barbara County's First District Supervisor seat, come 2016.

Salud Carbajal currently holds the First District seat, but Carbajal is one of several candidates now running for Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) congressional office.

Term limits will keep Williams from running for a fourth Assembly term. He easily won re-election back in November with more than 58 percent of the vote.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

    

Santa Barbara County law enforcement is saying a big thank you to the Isla Vista community for its cooperation during Deltopia this weekend.

The sheriff's department estimates the Deltopia crowd at roughly 10,000 people, a major decrease from last year's nearly 25,000 party-goers.

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