San Francisco Bay oil spill spreads,emergency declared
www.chinaview.cn 2007-11-10 17:59:28   Print

A U.S. National Park Service ranger places a sign indicating the closure of a roadway leading to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California November 8, 2007.

A U.S. National Park Service ranger places a sign indicating the closure of a roadway leading to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California Nov. 8, 2007. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in the San Francisco Bay on Friday, as oil spilled into San Frnacisco Bay was spreading around the area. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in the San Francisco Bay on Friday, as oil spilled into San Frnacisco Bay was spreading around the area.

    "I have signed an emergency proclamation, so all the state's resources can be coordinated to address this oil spill," Schwarzenegger said.

    The governor also directed a state office to tap into a state-maintained, industry-supported trust fund so as to ensure that all possible resources are being utilized to expedite the clean-up process.

    "I have also directed my Office of Spill Prevention and Response to work with the ship owner and federal and local authorities to bring in whatever resources are needed to clean this up immediately." he said.

    Schwarzenegger on Friday visited the polluted area where the oil spill from a container ship continued to spread, with concerns lingering over the U.S. Coast Guard's slow response.

    The cargo ship bumped into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridgeon Wednesday morning due to a dense fog, leaking about 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel, thick and oily, and difficult to be cleaned up.

    Coast Guard officers initially said about 140 gallons of the viscous fuel had oozed out, but they had not updated figures to local officials and the public for more than 12 hours as the spill was failed to contain.

    Outraged by the delay, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom threatened a legal action.

An emergency crew places a protective boom around the sand below the Golden Gate Bridge at Crissy Field in San Francisco, California November 8, 2007.

An emergency crew places a protective boom around the sand below the Golden Gate Bridge at Crissy Field in San Francisco, California Nov. 8, 2007. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    "The spill continues to create conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property in the area ... and continues to threaten marine life in the area, including marine mammals, birds and fish populations," Schwarzenegger said.

    Skimmers, with a belt made from oil-absorbing materials and mechanized oil recovery systems have been deployed within the bay and outside the Golden Gate Bridge to tackle the spilled oil.

    Flyovers are being conducted to evaluate the movement of the spilled oil and to assist in directing oil spill response vessels.

    Scores of wildlife experts and volunteers are combing the shorelines for oil-blackened birds.

    Wildlife authorities said the number of birds caught in the sticky oil has continued to climb, with 19 dead and 73 taken for treatment, adding that the numbers are likely to grow into the hundreds over the coming days.

    Meanwhile, the investigation into the cause of the shipping accident continued as new details, pointing to a veteran harbor captain who was piloting the vessel, were found.

    The captain, John Cota, 59, has been a master mariner for more than a quarter century. But since the early 1990s, he has been investigated for four separate incidents, and last year was reprimanded for running a ship aground, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Coast Guard investigators said the results of the alcohol test on Cota and the crew of the ship were negative. The results of the drug test on them were not yet available.

    Although the oil slick remains largely inside the bay, tidal action and winds have spread the spill outside the Golden Gate and up the Marin County coastline, as far as Muir Beach, Los Angeles Times said.

Oil spill threatens San Francisco Bay, coastline

    BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Oil seeping from a cargo ship that ran into a tower supporting the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has spread throughout the bay and is threatening a scenic stretch of the California coastline, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

    A hazy oil slick surrounded Alcatraz Island, and the plume extended well north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge. The heavy fuel has closed at least eight beaches. About a half-dozen birds were spotted alive and coated in oil, which has been washing up as far as 40 miles north of San Francisco.  Full story

Editor: An Lu
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Oil spill threatens San Francisco Bay, coastline
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