California Tar Ball Cleanup Continues

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – U. S. Coast Guard (USCG), California Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), and contracted response crews continue to cleanup tar balls and assess beaches from Pacifica to Carmel.

DFG and USCG are responding as a unified command and will continue to evaluate impacts to wildlife and the environment this evening and tomorrow. Cleanup operations will continue tomorrow with six shoreline cleanup and assessment teams (SCAT) and seven 12-person cleanup crews.

The unified command is also working with California Volunteers to engage community members previously trained during the COSCO BUSAN resopnse. Tomorrow volunteers who received the hazardous material training will assist with beach assessments in the Pacifica area.

While tar balls have not been found at every beach along this section of coastline, the amounts recovered at impacted beaches range from less than one to five gallons of oily product per mile. Further quantification of the amount of product recovered will take time since it is mixed in with sand, rock and other debris.

Unified command members continue to await laboratory test results that will provide evidence as to the source of the product. Unless testing evidence indicates otherwise, there is no corellation to the COSCO BUSAN oil spill and this response will continue to be handled separately from COSCO BUSAN.

San Mateo County park rangers and the unified command ask that the public stay at least 300 feet away from marine mammals on the beaches. Because it is harbor seal pupping season, responders will also maintain a distance of 300 feet from these animals.

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