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ARCO Santa Clara River

Graphic California map showing the locations of Arco / Santa Clara spill

Bare trees in a valley with hills and clouds.

A pipeline break during the Northridge Earthquake resulted in the spill of over 190,000 gallons of crude oil. Oil entered the Santa Clara River near Interstate 5 and continued 16 miles downstream.


  • LOCATION: Santa Clara River in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
  • DATE: January 17, 1994
  • INCIDENT SUMMARY: A pipeline break during the Northridge Earthquake resulted in the spill of over 190,000 gallons of crude oil. Oil entered the Santa Clara River near Interstate 5 and continued 16 miles downstream.
  • RESPONSIBLE PARTY: Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO)
  • NATURAL RESOURCE TRUSTEES: California Department of Fish and Wildlife; United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • RESOURCES IMPACTED: Fish (including the Unarmoured Threespine Stickleback); riparian vegetation (approximately 100 acres destroyed); birds, mammals, and other riparian and aquatic animals.
  • SETTLEMENT DETAILS: The trustees settled the NRDA portion of the case for $7.1 million.
  • STATUS OF RESTORATION: Final Restoration Plan, restoration projects in progress.

Available Documents

Restoration Project Monitoring Reports


Contact Information

Steve Hampton
Email: Steve.Hampton@wildlife.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 323-4724


Last update : 10/19/2017 2:42:51 AM