Both directions of Sepulveda Boulevard under the 10 Freeway and 405 interchanges in Rancho Park remained closed Tuesday while crews worked to contain oil that was coming out of the ground at a rate of 3-5 gallons a minute, authorities said.
Calls about the incident, located in the 2800 block of South Sepulveda Boulevard, came in just before 6 p.m. Monday, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department news release.
It wasn’t until shortly before noon on Tuesday that the seepage stopped, officials told KTLA.
Fire officials believe a water pipe burst as well, further complicating the issue.
Fire crews used nearby soil to create dams in an attempt to contain the leaking oil from spilling into storm drains. Authorities estimated that around 1,000 gallons of oil made its way out of the ground.
“Only about 20-40 gallons escaped into the storm drain before firefighters contained the rest in the immediate area,” LAFD said.
“It is unusual to have a pipeline break like this,” said Jojo Comandante, a hazardous materials specialist with the L.A. County Fire Department. “It’s significant that it went into the storm drain unnoticed for two miles downstream. The storm channel that they are going to clean up is under two miles, all the way to Palms and Sawtelle.”
Authorities said Clean Harbors, a waste management company, ordered a vacuum truck to help with the cleanup and that LAFD will use heavy equipment to position sand “to protect the drains and the environment.”
LAFD noted in the news release that several oil pipes run through the area and multiple agencies were coordinating in an attempt to identify which one of the lines was compromised and, by extension, which company may be required to pay for the cleanup.
The Environmental Protection Agency may also fund the remediation efforts.
No evacuations were ordered, no injuries were reported, and officials said there is “no widespread public hazard.”
Motorists in the area were encouraged to seek alternate routes while crews worked at the site.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify which freeways are closest to the affected portions of Sepulveda Boulevard.