The health officials also noticed strong petroleum odors in the region.
The Health Department had initially just issued a warning, advising the public to stay away from the oil-covered sand and tar balls that were spotted at the said beach. County Parks, Public Health, and the Air Pollution Control District will determine the risk to public health and could even suggest future course of action.
Santa Barbara County health officials Friday closed Summerland Beach after large volumes of oil washed up on the sand.
Earlier this week, the State Lands Commission agreed to study old oil wells in the area to see if there are some potential problems there.
It’s not yet clear when the beach may reopen or where the oil is coming from, but health officials say they do not believe it’s connected to the Refugio pipeline spill. There are chances that the closure will continue through weekend.
In July, a large oil sheen off the coast of Goleta was determined to be the result of natural oil seepage, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.