Coast Guard to Respond to Cosco Busan Spill

Monday, November 19, 2007
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen announced that the Coast Guard has begun a comprehensive review of its response to the Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay after the ship allided with the San Francisco Bay Bridge Nov. 7.

At the direction of the Commandant, the Coast Guard's Chief of Staff chartered an incident specific preparedness review (ISPR) that includes membership of federal, local, state, and industry stakeholders. The review will examine the implementation and effectiveness of the interagency area contingency plan - which guides how San Francisco Bay-area stakeholders respond to an oil or hazardous material spill -- and its integration with other applicable contingency plans at the federal, state, and local levels. The review will also carefully evaluate the effectiveness of the Coast Guard's oil spill response and communications efforts with key federal, state, local and industry partners. The ISPR is intended to serve as a fact finding body to identify strengths and weaknesses of the area contingency plan, regional contingency plan, and overall preparedness system in effect at the time of the incident. Its findings may inform actions by the Coast Guard and others to produce positive, effective preparedness improvements that will benefit the San Francisco Bay region, as well as other regions of the country. Members of the Cosco Busan ISPR review will include representatives from:

· The City of San Francisco · California Office of Emergency Services · Pacific States - British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force · Pacific Merchant Shipping Association · National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration · U.S. Coast Guard (Chairman) The review will include assistance of other federal, state, local or industry stakeholders as necessary to help inform the members, including established coalitions who can represent the interests of environmental groups. This review is in addition to several other ongoing or potential investigations, including: · A National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the cause of the marine transportation system accident resulting in the allision, including the performance of the master, pilot and crew as well as the operation and maintenance of equipment and navigation systems.

· A Coast Guard marine casualty investigation into potential civil and criminal violations of several federal, state and local statutes regarding the discharge of oil into state waters. In addition to public release, the results of the ISPR review will be made available to the NTSB, marine casualty investigators, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for San Francisco in support of any ongoing or potential investigations. In addition to other sources of information, the ISPR members may obtain and consider any information made available to them by the NTSB, marine casualty investigation, or any other investigation.

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