‘Massive oil spill off California coast a potential ecological disaster’

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Los Angeles, Oct 4 | A massive oil spill off the Orange County coast in Southern California has prompted the closure of a 9-km long beachfront area.

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley told local KTLA news channel on Sunday that the incident was first reported a day earlier and oil was still leaking about 8.05 km off the coast of Huntington Beach from the broken pipeline, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It’s still leaking and the responsible party for this is underway right now trying to repair the leak from the pipeline,” Foley said, referring to the platform Elly, a facility sitting in federal waters off the Los Angeles County coast and processing crude oil production from two other platforms.

All these platforms are located on top of a large reservoir of crude oil known as the Beta Field, which sits in waters overseen by the US Department of the Interior.

The spill, equal to about 126,000 gallons of post-production crude, is a “potential ecological disaster”, Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr told CNN .

The US Coast Guard (USCG) said in a statement that a unified command, consisting of Beta Offshore, the Coast Guard, and Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) from CDFW, had been established to respond to the incident.

“Members of the public are asked to avoid any oiled areas. Trained spill response contractors are working to clean up oil. Public volunteers are not needed and could hinder response efforts. We request that members of the public stay away from the area,” the statement said, adding that the cause of the spill, volume and type of oil are under investigation.

The oil slick was “reported to be approximately 33.7 sq.km in size, about 4.82 km off Newport Beach”, the USCG said in an earlier twitter.

Local authorities urged people to avoid the beach areas around Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, saying “the spill has significantly affected Huntington Beach, with substantial ecological impacts occurring at the beach and at the Huntington Beach Wetlands”.

By Sunday morning, “we’ve started to find dead birds & fish washing up on the shore”, Foley tweeted.

Debbie McGuire, executive director of the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, was quoted by the local newspaper Orange County Register that staff in the centre had prepared masks, goggles and IV fluids to stabilise the animals affected by the oil spill.

McGuire said the first batch of wounded birds were sent to the centre on Sunday noon, including three pelicans, a ruddy duck and a surf scoter.

The oil spill also prompted the cancellation of the final day of the Great Pacific Airshow. The 5th annual air show began Friday morning at the Huntington Beach Pier and drew about 1.5 million visitors to the beach on Saturday. The event was scheduled to run through Sunday afternoon.

The last major oil spill hit the Southern California area was 30 years ago.

In 1990, the American Trader oil tanker spilled 417,000 gallons of crude, killing fish and approximately 3,400 birds and polluting popular beaches along the Orange County coast.

California has been taking a tough stand to protect its coast from the offshore oil and gas development since 1994 when the state legislature passed the California Coastal Sanctuary Act.

It prohibits the state from entering into any new leases within state tidelands.

In 2017, the California Senate passed a resolution opposing new oil or gas drilling in federal waters located offshore.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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