2007 San Francisco Bay oil spill

2007 San Francisco Bay oil spill

The 2007 San Francisco Bay oil spill was an oil spill that occurred on on 7 November 2007 at San Francisco, California, in which 58,000 gallons (220,000 litres) of IFO-380 bunker fuel [ [http://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/823/181668/ United States Coast Guard and San Francisco Department of Public Health Issue Updates on Bay Bridge Container Ship Accident ] ] were spilled into San Francisco Bay after the container ship "COSCO Busan" collided with the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in thick fog.cite news | url = http://www.ktvu.com/news/14532288/detail.html?rss=fran&psp=news |title=Container Ship Gashed In Collision With Bay Bridge| accessdate = 2007-11-07]

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency after meeting with federal, state and local officials overseeing the cleanup. The proclamation made additional state personnel, funding and equipment available to assess and clean up the environmental damage. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/10/us/10spill.html Oil Spill Spreads in San Francisco Bay - New York Times ] ]


Senator Barbara Boxer and Mayor Gavin Newsom criticized the Coast Guard for their response, as their initial reported figures, between 100 and 400 gallons of oil, were significantly lower than those of the actual spill. [ [http://www.incidentnews.gov/incident/7708 M/V Cosco Busan. Incident News.] ]

On Friday, 30 November 2007, the United States government filed a lawsuit against both the ship and the pilot.fact

On July 23, 2008, a federal grand jury indicted Fleet Management Ltd. of Hong Kong, the company that operated the Cosco Busan. The indictment included six felonies for allegedly falsifying documents to interfere with a federal investigation and two misdemeanor counts of criminal negligence for allegedly helping to cause the spill. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/23/BA6B11TSPL.DTL&tsp=1 SAN FRANCISCO / Felony charges for ship's management / Company operating the Cosco Busan when it hit the Bay Bridge and spilled oil is accused of falsifying route documents ] ]

Area affected

The tidal mechanics of San Francisco Bay [ [http://www.test.earthscape.org/t1/grk04/grk04b.html Tides and Currents in San Francisco Bay: Voyage and Questions ] ] caused the spill to spread very quickly, affecting a large area of the California North Coast, including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Ocean Beach and the Marin Headlands. [ [http://sanfrancisco.about.com/od/sanfranciscomaps/ig/San-Francisco-Icon-Maps/sanfranciscooilspillmap.htm San Francisco Oil Spill - Map of San Francisco Bay Oil Spill and Closed Beaches ] ]

Over 50 public beaches were closed, including Crissy Field, Fort Point, Baker Beach, China Beach and Kirby Cove. [ [http://www.examiner.com/a-1036478~More_beaches_close_in_wake_of_spill.html More beaches close in wake of spill - Examiner.com ] ]

By 14 November 2007, beaches as far south as Pacifica, California had been closed due to the spill. [ [http://www.pacificatribune.com/localnews/ci_7460711 Pacifica Tribune Online - Pacifica Beaches Closed ] ]

Richmond's shoreline and wildlife were seriously affected by the spill. Beaches and shorelines were closed, but later reopened. However, access was still restricted as of December 2007. [http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.asp?NID=468 Oil Spill Information] , City of Richmond website, retrieved 2007-12-18] The government organizations responsible for coordination and of relief and cleanup were accused of ignoring Richmond, since it is a poor area that is already polluted.Fact|date=September 2008



According to the California Department of Fish and Game, 1,084 birds were collected alive (421 of which were rehabilitated and released) and 1,856 were collected dead. [http://www.dfg.ca.gov/ospr/spill/nrda/cosco-busan-nrda-bird-injury-factsheet-feb-2008.pdf] The actual number of birds impacted is subject to investigation. Three marine mammals were also collected dead. Approximately convert|200|mi|km of coastline were oiled, though most of that was only lightly oiled. [http://www.dfg.ca.gov/ospr/spill/nrda/cosco-busan-nrda-factsheet-jan-2008.pdf] Herring, which typically enter the Bay in December, may also be hurt, along with predators which feed on herring.


Several fisheries in the Bay Area may have been affected by the spill and the crab and sport fishing seasons were postponed by several weeks. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/11/10/MNDAT9KJB.DTL The spill threatens to delay opening of crab season ] ] As of November 30, State biologists had tested more than 1,100 samples of fish, mussels, and Dungeness crab in San Francisco Bay and coastal waters outside the Golden Gate. The tests found unsafe levels of contaminants in mussels from Rodeo Beach and the Berkeley pier.


Initial official releases from public agencies warned against involvement of volunteers, and worked to deflect volunteers into non-contact activities. This included asking people to act as drivers for bird transport, or as support staff to other efforts. The U.S. Coast Guard directed volunteers to clean non-oiled beaches. [ [http://www.uscgsanfrancisco.com/go/doc/823/182066/ Public AffairsUSCG District 11: Non-oiled beaches in need of clean up, 2007-11-12]

For the first few days OSHA rules were interpreted as requiring HAZWOPER certification, a minimum of 24 hours of classroom time, prior to involvement in any effort that may result in oil contact. Eventually, and after significant pressure from would-be volunteers, a four-hour "Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Certification" subset of the course was offered. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/11/13/MN24TB2L0.DTL&type=printable Volunteers Rush Through Training, Start Cleanup ] ] OSHA rules require exactly 240 minutes of classroom time, and the certification is valid for only one incident, e.g., this oil spill.

Cleanup timeline

Ad-hoc volunteers were discouraged from cleaning beaches during the early days following the spill, as government workers and private contractor The O'Brien's Group handled the official disaster response. On 11 November 2007, cleanup and reports were focused on damage assessment of the "COSCO Busan". [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/11/11/MNFSTA5L9.DTL Bay cleanup efforts expanding / LINGERING CONSEQUENCES: Spill will have far-ranging effects on plants and animals in and around bay for years, scientists fear ] ] Oil-soaked birds were put in boxes and driven to the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Fairfield to be rehabilitated by University of California, Davis, veterinary medical students, [ [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112082754.htm Oiled-bird Being Rescued In San Francisco ] ] and as of 2007-11-25, some birds were returned to the wild.


On 21 December 2007, the "COSCO Busan" sailed out of San Francisco Bay en route to South Korea with a new crew. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/21/BA6PU24Q0.DTL&hw=COSCO+Busan&sn=001&sc=1000 Patched-up "Cosco Busan" sails out of bay, lawsuits in its wake] ] Around the same time, the demolished Bay Bridge fender section was found convert|25|mi|km south of Half Moon Bay,Fact|date=December 2007 and the fender was repaired at the Bay Bridge. [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/22/BAGLU36MA.DTL&feed=rss.bayarea Bay Bridge fender repaired ahead of schedule] ] The bar pilot who was operating the "Busan" at the time of the collision has since turned in his license and resigned from his position.fact

Prior spills

The "SS Cape Mohican" was the source of a 1996 spill of 40,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil in San Francisco Bay causing $3.625 million in natural resources damages. [ [http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-GENERAL/1998/July/Day-30/g20395.htm Notice of Lodging of Consent Decree in an Oil Spill Case | Federal Register Environmental Documents | USEPA ] ] [ [http://www.dfg.ca.gov/ospr/spill/nrda/nrda_mohican.html California Department of Fish & Game ] ]

See also

*Oil spill


External links

* [http://www.boatingsf.com/gc_busan.php Path of the "COSCO Busan"]
* [http://www.dfg.ca.gov/ospr/spill/nrda/nrda_cosco-busan.html Cosco Busan Natural Resource Damage Assessment]

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