By Gary Bogue
Friday, November 9th, 2007 at 7:59 am in Oil Spills.
And there’s REALLY no excuse for a slow response, or for misjudging the size of oil spills that do somehow happen, even though they shouldn’t.
A crude oil spill is bad, but fuel oil is more refined than crude oil, and the more refined the oil, the more toxic it becomes.
The 58,000 gallons of fuel oil that spilled into the Bay on Wednesday is toxic to wildlife and this spill couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
The Bay Area is smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Flyway — the route migratory birds take on their winter and spring migrations. Many thousands of common murres and other migratory bird species that are arriving to feed in the Bay and Delta ecosystems, even as we speak, are in jeopardy of being contaminated by this noxious and deadly oil and killed.
And that includes the harbor seals and sea lions that already live in the Bay, and many kinds of fish. And if the oil escapes the confines of the Bay and leaks out into the ocean, it will also put other birds and marine-mammal species at risk.
And I don’t even want to think what will happen if the oil dares to reach the clusters of small islands that comprise our fragile Farallon National Wildlife Refuge.
These are modern times and with the present state of our technology, we should be able to establish foolproof procedures to protect Bay waters and beaches and wildlife. I thought we had procedures in place to deal with this kind of stuff, but apparently we don’t. Or maybe no one is following them. That’s scary.
Somebody REALLY screwed up on this one.
Heads should roll.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to keep a LOT of animals from dying. /Gary
(P.S.: Please explain to me again how a ship can run into that BIG OLD BAY BRIDGE??? Our Tony Hicks has a whole lot to say about that.)