Incidents

9:30a, Friday, November 12, 2010: BAAQMD complaint number 208100, pervasive smell of fuel in the air, West End.  Fuel on the water in area of Pasta Pelican restaurant, Alameda, CA 94501

Source: a crude oil transfer between two barges, from one in poor condition (many leaks) to one in better condition (one leak), conducted by Marine Starlight.  The second barge then took the load to Conoco-Philips.  BAAQMD boarded both boats on Friday.  On Monday, November 15th, BAAQMD cited them for public nuisance and for violating the health & safety regulation 8 rule 44. The BAAQMD attorneys will decide the fine, but because the company was cited/fined in September 2010, this time, they expect the penalties to be stiffer.

Here are pictures of the fuel in the water at Barnhil Marina.

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3 responses to “Incidents

  • zizzlah

    Petty Officer Gonzales at the Coast Guard just threatened me for making “repeated calls.” This was call number 2 for me. He suggested that I was making this fuel in the water business up and wasting taxpayer resources by inventing false claims, told me repeatedly that the call was being recorded and that something bad would happen to me, he couldn’t say what, kept asking for my address so he could send the Oakland Police out along with the Coast Guard to my door. Claimed that they couldn’t find any evidence of fuel in the water from our call last week. I told him that was odd, as BAAQMD had found enough evidence to issue citations and fines for last week’s incident, including a public nuisance claim. He just kept threatening me with vague legal action.

    So, be careful of the Coast Guard. They seem unable to spot fuel in the water – or unwilling to – and at least one of the Petty Officers (Gonzales) needs to switch to decaf.

  • zizzlah

    Ooo – I was wrong about who I talked to. It was Lt. Rubini who, when I called back, defended his behavior in the same aggressive manner. I asked to speak to the Captain, who will be calling me back. My apologies to Petty Officer Gonzales.

    I didn’t call back until Officer Robinson had left. He knocked on my door a little bit ago and we had a nice chat. I showed him my pictures and we talked about what I’d seen, which he characterized as “old fuel.” He said it was not what he considered a lot of fuel and that it was untraceable. He made sense. He also told me that a couple of boats have been abandoned or sunk in the estuary recently and that they leak fuel at low tide in particular. It’s not financially feasible to raise the boats, which led me to say that that leaves us a a new “normal” level of fuel in the water. He agreed and once again said that it wasn’t really severe.

    I thanked him for recalibrating my expectations.

  • Denise Lai

    Unbelievable. This we pay for? What ever happened to being public servants? It is our tax dollars afterall! Sheesh! And this basically gives anyone a carte blanche to unload or leak fuel into the estuary because, oh, it’s normally there anyway and no one can catch them and it cheaper, way cheaper to pollute our waterway than it is to do it properly. Last Thursday (11/4/2010) night is one instance where that will be categorically not true. Marine Starlight will be hit with fines and will under BAAQMD’s microscope.

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