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Federal Criminal Investigation Opens into 58,000-Gallon Oil Spill in San Francisco Bay
Monday, November 12, 2007 : The oil spill has shut down over a dozen beaches and killed at least 60 birds. Ecologists warn that it could take months to clean up and that it threatens the Bay's diverse ecosystem, including several endangered species. We speak to Sejal Choksi, Program Director at San Francisco Baykeeper.
A federal criminal investigation has been opened into a 58,000-gallon spill of heavy bunker fuel into the San Francisco Bay. The spill took place when a container ship slammed into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Wednesday. Coast Guard officials acknowledged Friday that they had waited over four hours before notifying the public of the magnitude of the spill. They had previously reported a leak of just 140 gallons.
The oil spill has shut down over a dozen beaches and killed at least 60 birds. Ecologists warn that it could take months to clean up and that it threatens the Bay's diverse ecosystem, including several endangered species.
Environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth and San Francisco Baykeeper have condemned the ecological impact of the spill and the slowness of the official response. They are also calling for a ban on the shipping industry's use of the heavily polluting bunker fuel, which they say is a thousand times worse for the environment than highway diesel.
Sejal Choksi is the Program Director at San Francisco Baykeeper, an organization that aims to protect and enhance the water quality of the San Francisco Bay. She is also an Environmental Representative to the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response Technical Advisory Committee.