Summerland Oil Cleanup Moves Forward
Photo & Graphic showing targeted oil wellhead locations by Harry Rabin/On the Wave Productions
By Hillary Hauser of Heal the Ocean
The next steps for tackling the mess of oil leaking onto Summerland beach are moving forward, with barge and contractors set to arrive here in June/July 2020 – three months from now. During the past chaotic months Heal the Ocean has maintained steady communication with State Lands Commission (SLC) officials to ensure the next group of leaking wells is on schedule for remediation.’
State Lands is scheduling the work to straddle two State budget cycles, one ending in June, the other beginning July, so that there is enough money to tackle more than one well. SB 44, Hannah-Beth Jackson’s “Coastal Hazards and Legacy Oil and Gas Well Removal and RemediationProgram," allots $2 million per year for coastal cleanup of abandoned wells and hazardous infrastructure, and these monies can't be carried over from one budget cycle to another. It’s a “use it or lose it” policy.
Therefore, the work in Summerland will go on no matter what. The Request for Quote (RFQ) will be posted any day now by SLC, inviting contractors to bid for the June/July oil capping work, The RFQ is for up to 6 wells, with three targeted as priorities for the current budget cycle(s).
The A-list includes four wells: “North Star” (sometimes referred to as the “Ramp”), "Duquesne #910,” “Ohlssen #805” – and the notorious Treadwell #10 offshore well. According to HTO Advisory Board member Harry Rabin, whose On the Wave Productions Company has given a technological boost to the InterAct engineers in accurately pinpointing offending wellheads, the beach gushers North Star and Duquesne should definitely be tackled, and our hope is that there is enough funding to go after at least one other - Treadwell or Ohlssen. Heal the Ocean is immensely grateful for the amazing financial help of Manitou Fund, not only for the ability to pay for Harry Rabin's expertise that has been helping keep the project on track but also the great cheerleading of Manitou Fund's Nora McNeely Hurley & Michael Hurley, who are there in Summerland cheering these projects along, every step of the way!