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Preparing for an oil spill and hazardous material spills requires qualifed training
Just showing up - full of enthusiasms and lacking specialized training linked to hazardous material clean up - is not the way to go. The recent oil spill where over 58,000 gallons of oil spilled in the Bay - affecting all the Bay Area beaches and other sensitive habit areas - should be an eye opener to many Agencies. Of course Mayor Gavin Newsom and his cronies have miles to go - when it comes to habitat clean up and more - if and when the Big One - strikes us - San Francisco will be in for the blaming game - the poor will suffer the most.
The 58,000 gallon oil spill is not the only one to happen in recent years. It is one though that happened in the open for all the world to see - and exposed the system to the many faults and lack of prepardness.
Judging from the response - the United States Coast Guard with all its protocols, and Standard Operating Procedures - failed. Of course there will be the blaming game - but say - what you may the U.S. Coast Guard blew it.
The SF Port Authority is searching for answers and the City and County of San Francisco - is just learning how to address the situation.
The U.S. Coast Guard has failed so miserably that most people do not trust them and rightly so.
There have been other spills on land - like the MUNI yard spill by 18th Street - more then 40,000 gallons of oil - leached into the ground - and the Coast Guard witnessed the oil spill affecting Islais Creek - about a mile away from the source of the leak.
Of course the City and County of San Francisco and Mayor Gavin Newsom was NOT so quick to fine himself and the SF City and County. Millions of dollars were set aside to do the clean up and some one made a lot of money.
The point - nature and the watershed was polluted and the whole episode was kept quiet. Under the radar as they say. This happen about two years ago.
Oil was found in the drain storms and every where - and much of it eventually made it to the Bay. But, as I said - it was all hush,hush.
In San Francisco we have many underground oil tanks leaking - and some have been leaking for years.
Recently, I reported about the oil tank leaking by Wharf 10. No one is paying attention to this on going problem.
The recent, 58,000 gallon spill will affect Crissy Field in a big way. The Golden Gate National Recreational Area (GGNRA) is not prepared for any calamity - it is always prepared to make money and ask for money - and waste it - as it did with the Crissy Field Project.
The recent 58,000 gallon oil spill will adversely affect Crissy Field for a long, long time. And specially the Cesspool that many call the Lagoon.
Some 7 years ago a National Park Service (NPS) Employee sprayed Tremec a very poisonous weed killer - it is against NPS rules - but, he did it anyway.
A couple of days later thousands attended a concert - and many sat on the lawns and poisoned themselves. Such, are the unknown secrets that those in power keep from the Public - whom they are supposed to protect.
It is a great pity when plant and animals life is adversely impacted by the foolishness of human kind. Of course Mother Earth will heal itself - it has time on its side.
But, human kind is careless and does not take the full responsibility and often times dares to defy Nature. Of course stupid as human beings are - they learn a little but soon fall into the rut of their selfishness.
Gavin Newsom now wants to place fossil fuel burning, toxic spewing small power plants in the Bayview. Do you think some one must fine this idiot - for backing such a project in the year 2007?
It is always great to watch White folks - try to pollute, steal, and harm - without caring for Mother Earth. The 58,000 gallon oil spill is an eye opener.
The Bay Area does not have too many specialized hazardous spill trained workers. The few we have have done a 40 hour course - and many do not practice what they learn - but use their skills once in a way.
Volunteers who go out and deal with cancerous elements will expose themselves to danger. So, it is right on - when those in charge say that only the trained should do the clean up on the beaches.
Liability, is big in America and there are some that will expose themselves a little - and, then turn and sue the authorities. Money is the game when it comes to the greedy - pretending to be environmentalists for a day or two. Where have most of them been lately?
Preparing for a major Oil Spill and dealing with other Hazardous Materials requires qualified training.
Francisco Da Costa
Environmental Justice Advocacy