Fishermen’s Livelihood Impacted by Oil Spill Along California Coastline    – Class Action Investigation into Amplify Energy Corp. Oil Spill

The Chimicles Firm is investigating a potential law suit related to the massive oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach in Orange County, California that was first reported on Saturday morning, October 3. The spill originated from a pipeline running from the Port of Long Beach to an offshore oil platform named “Elly” operated by Houston-based Amplify Energy Corporation (“Amplify Energy”). More than 126,000 gallons of oil gushed into the Catalina Channel creating an oil slick that has already spanned more than 8,300 acres and continues to head south from Huntington Beach. Officials are calling this an environmental catastrophe that has already wreaked havoc killing fish, birds and threatening ecologically sensitive wetlands. State wildlife officials have announced a ban on fishing or collecting shellfish from Huntington Beach to Dana Point.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a statement that “the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has determined that a threat to the public is likely by fishing in the affected area or consuming fish or shellfish that may have been affected by the spill, and that fishing and shellfish harvesting closure is recommended” for both coastal and offshore areas. According to the Associated Press, the Director for the Center for Biological Diversity’s oceans program, Miyoko Sakashita, said, “The coastal areas off of Southern California are just really rich for wildlife, a key biodiversity hot spot.” The oil spill “has long-lasting effects on the breeding and reproduction of animals” with sea creatures having trouble breathing and dying because of the oil.

The pipeline and operations at three off-shore platform owned by Amplify Energy have now been shut down, and booms have been deployed on the ocean surface to try to contain the spill while divers seek to determine the place and cause of the leak. With chunks of tar heading ashore, beaches and waterways have already been forced to close including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Harbor, Laguna Beach, and Crystal Cove State Park. The Los Angeles Times reports the Chief of Marine Safety for Laguna Beach Kevin Snow, stating that “Beach closures are needed to protect the health and safety of the public and to allow contractors to begin oil cleanup.”

If your livelihood is dependent on fishing or fishing-related industries, and the fishing and harvesting closure has impacted your business, please contact the attorneys listed below.

Amplify Oil Spill- Fishery (#114)

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Attorneys for this case:

Benjamin F. Johns
Beena M. McDonald