California State Lands Commission Beach Hazards Removal Project

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Extensive oil and gas operations occurred along the City’s Ellwood coastline during the early and mid-20th century. When these operations ceased, the infrastructure created to support the operations was not properly abandoned. As a result, the Ellwood coastline is littered with remnant oil and gas operation hazards. These hazards include protruding wellheads and well casings, wood and steel piles, pipelines, and wood beams and structures. Since 2002, the California State Land Commission (CSLC) has worked to identify and remove these remnant hazards along both the Ellwood coastline and other locations in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Removal activities took place along Ellwood on six different occasions since 2011. However, extensive hazards remain. 

Over the past two years, the City produced a Beach Hazards Inventory Report that identifies over 65 beach hazard locations along the City’s shoreline, including several abandoned wellheads. To address future hazards removal and well re-abandonments, the State adopted Senate Bill 44 in 2017. Senate Bill 44 provides a funding program to address these hazards along the California coastline. This program is funded at $2 million a year for the next ten years. 

On October 17, 2017, City staff provided an update to City Council on the Beach Hazards Removal Project. Information from that update is provided below:

Staff Contact: