Gov. Schwarzenegger Visits Bay Area Oil Spill Site, Proclaims State of Emergency

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

by / November 13, 2007

As he visited the site of Wednesday's oil spill in the San Francisco Bay, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today proclaimed a State of Emergency.  He also directed the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) to tap into a state-maintained, industry-supported trust fund to ensure that all possible resources are being utilized to expedite the cleanup process.

"I have signed an emergency proclamation, so all the state's resources can be coordinated to address this oil spill.  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," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "And to make sure there is no bureaucratic delay, I have told OSPR to use the state's Response Trust Fund to throw everything we possibly can at this without wasting a minute of time."

A proclamation of emergency allows the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES) to deploy emergency personnel, equipment and facilities and provide local government assistance under the authority of the California Disaster Assistance Act. 

So far in response to this incident, the state has taken a number of actions.  Currently deployed in the San Francisco Bay and outside of the Golden Gate Bridge are skimmers, mechanized oil recovery systems. The skimmers utilize a belt that is made from a material that attracts oil. Additionally, 18,000 feet of boom have been placed around the Bay Area to protect the beaches and wildlife. Flyovers are being conducted to evaluate the movement of the spilled oil and to assist in the directing of oil spill response vessels. 

A unified response team to clean up the spill consists of the OSPR under the Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and representatives of the vessel owner.  

Additionally, private companies involved in the clean up progress are the Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) and National Response Center (NRC).  Also, officials from the city and county of San Francisco, the National Marine Sanctuary, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Department of Emergency Management, Treasure Island Development and the Bay Area Air Quality Control Board are all monitoring the clean up progress.