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Today’s must-read: CCT on the Dubai Star spill

Submitted by on 1, May 12, 2010 – 4:45 amOne Comment

A worker cleans up the shoreline along Bay Farm Island, just off the side of the bridge, in November 2009.

The Contra Costa Times’ Mike Taugher reports that a series of errors led to the October 30, 2009 Dubai Star oil spill that closed Alameda beaches for several weeks.

Writes Taugher:

The spill worsened, officials said, because no one noticed a fuel tank of the Dubai Star was overflowing until 2,000 gallons of toxic, sticky bunker fuel spilled onto the deck of the ship. In addition, alarms did not sound and the fueling company failed to get boom around the spill within an hour, which state law requires.

The Panama-flagged Dubai Star promptly notified the Coast Guard but did not alert cleanup organizations for hours after the Oct. 30 spill, officials said.

Taugher said these are the preliminary findings of state and federal officials investigating the 422-gallon spill, which also forced a shellfish harvesting ban and killed more than three dozen shore birds.

Officials said fines for the errors are pending, Taugher writes.

One Comment »

  • Nick says:

    This was such an unfortunate accident. Obviously could have been much much worse (don’t want to go there), but it was so frustrating already. I hope it’ll serve as an eye-opener and that some procedures will change:
    – why doesn’t the Coast Gard immediately alert cleanup organizations themselves, instead of relying on the crew, who obviously is in damage-control mode at that point?
    – why don’t we require the pro-active use of a boom around any large-scale in-bay refueling operation?
    The Bay is our lung, let’s keep it tar-free.

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