Subcommittee schedules hearing into Coast Guards oil spill response

CBS 5 in San Francisco reports that U.S. Coast Guard officials will face another round of oil spill questions at a hearing in San Francisco on Monday, this time from members of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Congressman and subcommittee chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said the hearing will concentrate on the U.S. Coast Guard’s response to fuel spilled into the San Francisco Bay Wednesday after a container ship struck a Bay Bridge tower, according to Jennifer Kohl, the congressman’s spokeswoman.

Cummings said he is concerned the Coast Guard was unprepared for the spill or unaware of the extent of the disaster. He says he wants to find a better way to handle such an event in the future.

“There is an extreme difference between the 140 gallons of spilled oil initially reported by the Coast Guard and the nearly 60,000 gallons that we now hear have been spilled,” Cummings said. “The hearing will examine the adequacy of the system for reporting oil spills and the effectiveness of the Coast Guard response.”

The time and location of the meeting have not been announced.

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