Abel Maldonado at Goleta Beach
Paul Wellman

Acting Governor Abel Maldonado signed an executive order Tuesday morning at Goleta Beach that enhances coastal protection. Maldonado signed the order with local and state officials in attendance as well as his three children, whom Maldonado said he brought along because of the legislation’s historic significance.

Executive order S-16-10 mandates that all entities that own or operate offshore marine drilling facilities update their Oil Spill Contingency Plans (OSCP) to deal with uncontrolled oil releases (both natural or human-caused). The deadline for these reports is June 1, 2011. Secondly, the order requires that the State Lands Commission receive a third-party certification of the compatibility for blowout preventers from operators of all 27 oil wells off the coast of California. This requirement must be met by January 31, 2011.

Dr. Dan Secord of the California Coastal Commission was in attendance to commemorate the event. He highlighted Santa Barbara’s historic role in the environmental movement and noted that the executive order “is a milestone in coastal protection.”

Abel Maldonado at Goleta Beach on Tuesday surrounded by his sons
Paul Wellman

Maldonado addressed the gathering of reporters and other officials by first introducing his family and speaking of his grandfather. “I brought my boys here because of today’s historic significance … I remember my grandfather telling me one particular thing: ‘Son, they don’t make coastline anymore, and we need to protect what we have.’”

After recent visits to the Gulf Coast, Maldonado expressed the importance of planning in government and the private sector to protect our coastline, noting that some of the best minds contributing to the Gulf Coast cleanup hail from California.

Santa Barbara’s Mayor Helene Schneider, also in attendance, commented on the necessity of these kinds of orders because of the proximity of California’s oil rigs to the coast compared to those in the Gulf Coast. Even more significant, Schneider stressed, is Santa Barbara’s history of oil spills. “[There is] a need for interaction between all — agencies, federal, state, and local — to work together in planning and combating oil spills.”


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