Today Rep Michelle Steel (CA-48) released the below statement following President Biden’s announcement that the Port of Los Angeles will begin operating 24 hours a day to reduce the unprecedented backlog that is threatening coastline safety and causing nationwide supply chain issues. This comes less than two weeks after a devastating oil spill off the Orange County coast that may have been caused by a ship’s anchor dragging a pipeline more than 100 feet along the seabed.
“I am glad the Administration is finally acting on this issue and now it’s time to approve the Major Disaster Declaration I asked for more than a week ago. The backlog in our ports has caused ships to idle off our coastline for weeks, which may have contributed to the oil spill that devastated our community. I urge the President to approve this request and applaud these efforts to get these ships moving quickly and out of our coastal waters.”
Yesterday, Rep. Steel introduced the Stopping Hazardous Incidents in the Pacific Act of 2021 (SHIP Act), which would ban cargo ships from idling or anchoring off the coast of Orange County. This legislation was authored following reports that the oil spill that devastated Orange County was caused by a ship anchor or chain of a vessel hitting the pipeline and dragging it along the seafloor. The pipe “may also have been struck several other times by other ships’ anchors,” according to the latest reporting.
You can read the text of the SHIP Act here.