Santa Barbara’s Heal the Ocean acquired $500,000 to map and canopy deserted oil wells

Santa Barbara’s Heal the Ocean acquired $500,000 to map and canopy deserted oil wells

Lookout Peak Park was full of dignitaries and environmentalists on Tuesday, November 28, for a presentation on the gleaming Summerland coast dotted with oil rigs and offshore wells.

These wells have been famous all through the occasion — they’ve muddied the encircling waters for many years, leading to a $500,000 test to assist mapping and masking leaking and deserted oil wells.

Along with Senator Lemon, different attendees included (from left) Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rose, BRI Principal Investigator Dr. Ira Leaver, HTO Advisor Harry Rabin, former Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, and Assemblyman Greg Hart. | Credit score: Kali Fawzi

Senator Monique Lemon, with the assistance of Assemblyman Greg Hart, has secured half one million {dollars} in state funds to go towards the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit Summerland Oil Mitigation Examine (SOMS) in collaboration with Bubbleology Analysis Worldwide (BRI).

“We need to be certain that orphan wells usually are not left badly deserted,” Lemon mentioned. “And never turn out to be one thing that taxpayers have to wash up.”

A whole bunch of submerged wellheads that have to be re-abandoned stay off the coast, a lot of which have been beforehand plugged and deserted utilizing cost-cutting measures, corresponding to stuffing them with garments and rags.

Bubbleology’s principal investigator, Dr. Ira Leaver, is main the research to investigate the ocean flooring beneath the leaking oil wells. The aim is to determine a extra environment friendly method to re-abandoning oil by mapping the panorama, together with what’s below the sand and close to shore, to get a greater understanding of oil flows.

“These aren’t the one leaky wells within the state,” Leifer mentioned, wanting on the coast. “What we’re doing right here will likely be a mannequin of how we will use know-how to search out the best use of the cash we now have.”

The initiative goals to search out the best methods to determine and deal with probably the most problematic oil wells on the coast and assist continued funding for the California State Lands Fee’s efforts to cap these wells. To this point, seven outdated wells have been plugged and deserted off the Central Coast, with the aim of “decreasing the presence of oil in Summerland,” mentioned Sherri Pemberton, chief of exterior affairs and legislative liaison for state lands.

Hilary Hauser, govt director of Heal the Ocean, mentioned that when HTO came upon concerning the cash, it was a “big shock.” “After I arrived, we have been screaming and screaming,” she continued. “All the cash we obtain will go towards the geological research of the ocean flooring…. State lands is not going to cease till each gap is stuffed.

Additionally in attendance was former Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who authored the 2017 Senate Effectively Abandonment Proposition 44, which yearly allocates $2 million to curb leaking oil wells alongside the California coast. Work started in 2018 with the profitable re-abandonment of Becker #1 in Summerland Seashore.

“Santa Barbara is a small group, however it has had a really vital impression on the surroundings,” mentioned Harry Rabin, HTO advisor and program director. “This was a a lot wanted research.”

Native officers and Heal the Ocean members attended the test presentation ceremony on Tuesday, November 28 Credit score: Callie Fawzi

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