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A ruptured oil pipe near the city of Glendale, Los Angeles County, has caused a massive leak as 50,000 gallons of crude oil spilled onto streets, which is knee high in some places, the Los Angeles Fire Department reports.
The leak from a 20-inch pipe was first reported at around 12:15 am local time. The oil line was remotely shut off, the Los Angles Fire Department (LAFD) said in a press release. The oil spill has covered approximately a half-mile area, and is knee deep in some spots. The leak, which was sprung near 5175 W. San Fernando Rd., has spill has affected some commercial businesses.
"Oil is knee-high in some areas," the fire department said in a statement. "A handful of commercial businesses are affected."
Several known earthquake faults criss-cross the Glendale area and adjacent mountains, like they do in most of southern California. Among the more recognized faults by seismologists are the Sierra Madre and Hollywood faults, which are situated in the city's northern and southwestern portions, respectively. Additionally, the Verdugo and Raymond faults intersect through the city's central and southeastern areas. The San Gabriel fault, meanwhile, is located northeast of the city. Roughly 75 miles (121 km) northeast of Glendale, there's a major part of the San Andreas Fault known as the "Big Bend," where quake-recurrence tracking shows major activity roughly every 140–160 years. The closest portion of the San Andreas is actually 29 miles (47 km) from Glendale. The last major quake along the southern San Andreas was recorded in 1857.
In the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, which took place along the western edge of the Sierra Madre fault, there were surface ruptures nearly 12 miles (19 km) long, including one portion a few miles northwest of Glendale. Most of the damage was in the northern San Fernando Valley, though 31 structures in Glendale suffered major damage and had to be demolished, plus numerous chimneys collapsed. The 1994 Northridge earthquake had an epicenter about 18 miles (29 km) from Glendale. The city suffered severe damage to a public parking structure and sections of the Glendale Galleria parking structures and exterior columns incurred damages.
The 30-inch pipeline, which would run from the coast of Santa Barbara County to refineries in southern Los Angeles County, is designed to carry 330,000 barrels of oil a day and would be buried three to four feet deep for most of its length in urban areas.
Under the newly revised route, the pipeline would enter Glendale from Burbank at Sonora Avenue, running east to San Fernando Road. It would then run south, turning east at Colorado Boulevard and south again at Central Avenue.
The Colorado-Central stretch of the proposed pipeline would run along the southern border of the Glendale Galleria, but a Galleria official this week said she does not think the pipeline poses an inherent danger.
Opponents of the pipeline, including the Silver Lake Residents' Assn., said the proposed route lies along earthquake fault lines that could increase the risk of fires or explosion. They also said refining the oil from the pipeline will worsen air pollution in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas.