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Oil spill cleanup workers search for contaminated sand and seaweed at Huntington Beach in California on Oct. 9. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A Southern California coastal area closed since one of the largest oil spills in the state's recent history struck over a week ago reopened Monday, as cleanup efforts continue.

The latest: Huntington Beach's reopening Monday came sooner than many expected, after water quality tests came back with no detectable levels of oil associated toxins in the ocean water, AP reports.

Details: Tests detected no oil associated toxins in the ocean water at city and state beaches in the Huntington Beach area, per a statement from the city of Huntington Beach and California State Parks. The statement warned people not to touch "oiled materials and tar balls" they expect to wash up on the beach.

  • Officials also urged beachgoers in the statement to "avoid areas where an oil smell is present."
  • Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr said in a statement that the officials would "continue to monitor the water quality" after the beaches reopened.

The big picture: Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley told the Los Angeles Times Sunday that over 1,400 cleanup workers had found "14 barrels of tar balls and another quarter-million pounds of oily sand and debris" since the spill was confirmed on Oct. 2.

In photos: California cleanup efforts, 1 week after spill
Cleanup crews work around beachgoers on Huntington Beach on Oct. 9. Several beaches were still partially or fully closed as crews worked in Orange and San Diego counties on Oct. 10, KNBC noted. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
A sign Huntington Beach on Oct. 9. The spill contaminated several popular beaches and devastated wildlife. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
People walk with a dog as cleanup workers comb Huntington Beach on Oct. 9. California Gov. Gavin Newsom last week declared a state of emergency in response to the spill. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Cleanup workers combing Huntington Beach for any signs of oil on Oct. 9. "More than 7,500 people had offered to volunteer" with the cleanup, the LA Times notes. From those, 200 were selected. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
People play football as cleanup workers search for contaminated sand and seaweed on Oct. 9 in Huntington Beach. While people have been allowed on the beach, the ocean had been off-limits since the spill was detected. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include details of the reopening announcement.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

In photos: Thousands descend on D.C. to march for voting rights

Demonstrators hold signs while walking during the March On for Washington and Voting Rights rally in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28. Photo: Pete Kiehart/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Thousands of people marched in cities across the United States on Saturday to urge the Senate to pass voting rights legislation and put pressure on state legislatures to expand voting access, NBC reports.

Driving the news: The March On for Voting Rights took place in D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Phoenix and other cities "to demand that elected officials protect democracy, denounce voter suppression and ensure fair, easy access to the vote for all through the passage of comprehensive federal legislation," per the group's website.

30 mins ago - World

Poland showdown is EU's Jan. 6 moment, top official says

Didier Reynders. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Poland and Hungary have forced a moment of reflection on the European Union — similar to the one in the U.S. after the Jan. 6 insurrection, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told Axios.

What he's saying: "During many years, we have had in our minds that it was granted that if you are a member of the EU, of course you apply the rule of law; you have full respect for democracy, fundamental rights and so on — maybe with some concerns but with a real intention to adapt your legislation to be in full compliance [with EU law]," Reynders said.

The E-commerce shopping spree

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Retailers have gotten really good at selling stuff online. So much so, investors want them to separate from the business units that do just that.

Why it matters: Spinning off these crown jewels may jeopardize both the physical and e-commerce sides of the companies in the long run by breaking the benefits of hybrid operations, analysts say.