Cosco Busan Unified Oil Spill Update

Friday, November 09, 2007
More than 200 people are responding to the COSCO BUSAN oil spill. There are five skimmers in the Bay and three skimmers outside of the Golden Gate Bridge working to recover spilled oil. A skimmer is a mechanized oil recovery system. It utilizes a belt that is made from a a material that attracts oil. 18,000 feet of boom has been placed around the Bay Area to protect the Beaches and wildlife. Two overflights were conducted this morning to evaluate the movement of the spilled oil and to assist in the directing of oil spill response vessels. Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) and National Response Center (NRC) reports an estimated 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel was leaked into the San Francisco Bay yesterday with approximately 8,000 gallons recovered. Due to potential health concerns, Baker Beach, Fort Point, Crissy Field, China Beach, Kirby Cove, Rodeo Beach, Muir Beach and Angel Island shoreline are closed to the public. The Ferries are still running to Angel Island. All crewmembers and the Pilot that were onboard the COSCO BUSAN at the time of the accident were alcohol tested within the required two hour time limit. The results of the tests were negative. All crewmembers involved in the navigation of the COSCO BUSAN including the Pilot provided samples to be drug tested within the first few hours. The results for the drug samples will not be available until early next week. The Bay Air Quality Management District has been conducting ambient air sampling to determine if there is any threat to public health. So far, these tests have not shown any significantly elevated levels of volatile organic compounds in the areas surrounding the spill. "The Air District is responding to odor complaints and monitoring air quality in the area to ensure air quality is safe," said Jack Broadbent, the Air District's Executive Officer. "Although the results from the monitoring show that the levels of hydrogen sulfide do not pose a threat to public health, it's prudent to minimize your exposure and stay away from the spill areas and avoid contact with bay waters," Broadbent said. The ambient air levels observed should not result in any long-term adverse health impacts. Oil is currently reported to be as far south as Hunters Point, east of Oakland middle harbor, up through Racoon Straights and Brook Island, along the San Francisco waterfront, and past the Golden Gate Bridge as far north as Stinson Beach and south of Ocean Beach. California Fish and Game report 26 live oiled birds have been recovered. There are eight skimmers in the Bay and three skimmers outside the Golden Gate Bridge working to recover oil. 18,000 feet of boom is staged around the Bay Area to protect the Beaches and wildlife.

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