Crews work to assess, control Santa Barbara-area oil spill

Efforts to clean the crude-stained Santa Barbara coastline ramped up Thursday as scientists, government officials and workers tried to get a handle on the size, extent and environmental impact of Tuesday's oil spill.

Officials responding to the spill, which sent an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil into the water near Refugio State Beach, asked for patience as the massive cleanup effort turned into a 24-hour operation with some 300 workers and 18 boats.

Investigators were still working Thursday to determine the cause of the spill from Plains All American Pipeline.

"Cleanup doesn't happen overnight," Capt. Jennifer Williams of the U.S. Coast Guard said at a news conference. "You may see some progress early on, maybe in the first week or two. ... But these types of things continue on for perhaps even months."

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