Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Fuel spill clean-up costly
Fuel soaks the sand at Beacon's Beach, Leucadia
Fuel spill clean-up costlier than original estimates
By: ADAM KAYE - Staff Writer
ENCINITAS -- The fuel spill that fouled the ocean near Encinitas in late May cost about $80,000 to clean up, $20,000 more than originally estimated, a U.S. Coast Guard official said Monday.
Lt. j.g. Lis Bosma said the cause of the 500- to 1,000-gallon spill -- the worst off the city's shoreline in 30 years -- remains under investigation.
The Coast Guard's laboratory in Groton, Conn., is continuing to analyze fuel samples taken from the water and from four vessels that were in the area between midnight May 29 and 11 a.m. May 31, when the spill occurred.
Bosma said she expects to see lab results by the end of the week.
On Wednesday, Encinitas Fire Department Chief Mark Muir is scheduled to report on emergency crews' response to the incident, which closed two miles of coastal waters from Grandview to D streets for nearly three days.
Local, state and federal authorities and a private contractor took part in the clean-up and investigation.
Bosma said the quantity of discharged fuel suggests that it came from a large vessel.
Environmental damage from the discharge, however, appears to be minimal, authorities said.
"I was expecting to find bird carcasses washing ashore several days later and nothing unusual washed up," said Robin Lewis, senior environmental specialist for the state Department of Fish and Game.
The fuel left an iridescent sheen on the ocean's surface before crews used absorbent pads to mop it up.
The fuel could have caused chemical burning of surface-level kelp, but Lewis said he could not confirm whether that had happened.
"The good thing is it wouldn't have killed the plant, which under ideal conditions will grow up to a meter a day," he said.
read the rest of the NCT.com story: Fuel spill clean-up costlier than original estimates
Are the Grunion eggs in the sand still alive?
The spill occurred a week after we had a major Grunion run in Leucadia.
Are the sandcrabs still alive?
Has anyone seen the Osprey that normally hunts for Corbina in Leucadia lately?
The surface of the kelp is home to small fish and other creatures, were they affected by the spill?
The spill was corralled into the kelp beds. My gut instinct was too keep the spill away from the kelp beds.