Tue | Day 14 – Future Clean-Ups & Reminder Tips

prep.jpgPer KTS this morning:

“With the Volunteers trained and oil still washing up on our beaches, we know people are frustrated with the official volunteer efforts coming to an end, prematurely.  Stay tuned for additional clean-ups to be organized, timed with the tides.  Please continue to help us get feedback on the state of the beaches, on site, photos, stories.”



Courtesy of Lynn Stone.  Feel free to forward.

  • Picking up Globules: This outline is intended as a refresher for those who have taken the HazMat course. If you have not taken the 4 hour course and you want to pick up oil anyway, the ‘authorities‘ are saying you can’t do that on your own familiar beaches that you love and enjoy. Many people are picking up oil without the training. They could be exposing themselves to toxins.

  • Currently, the officials are are no longer recruiting volunteers anyway. The beaches will have oil washing up on them for a while still. Things may be different in Marin, which was hard hit. Please follow these HazMat guidelines for safety reasons, both for yourself and others. Thank you!

  • Tyvek suits are available at many hardwear stores, as are good nitrile gloves, bags, and good old duct tape! Get a strong garbage bag and whatever tools you want. A kitty litter scoop might work, or some kind of strainer type kitchen tool. Some areas of beach will have big globs, some will be very small. You might want knee pads if you think they would help. What you do with the oil you pick up will depend on where you are. Please do not just put it in the garbage. Call available phone #’s at the top of the page for safe pick up in SF, or inquire locally.

  • General spill and oil info:
    There are spills in the bay every day.The oil was diesel also, so it spread a lot and was hard to boom. The oil is now a slight hazard to clean up crews. It is not a reactive chemical. Good compatibility with the tyvek suits and protective gear.EXPOSURE. Short term exposure is called acute exposure; long term exposure is called chronic.Much of the cancer causing chemicals have evaporated. Fresh oil evaporates toxics, Benzene, toulene, xylene. In low lying areas don’t smoke, as there could be a suffocation risk. The oil is no longer fresh, and fumes should not accumulate. Still, be aware.Rotten oil smell is hydrogen sulfide.This stuff is globtastic, there are up to 6 ft globs.
    Oil is going to a hazardous waste landfill. Type of fuel in spill is IFO-380. Intermediate Fuel Oil- 380 MSDS sheets available for download. Google it
  • This process is going to take a long time, Every wave has thousands of globules. The external surface of the globs has weathered and will not spread and rejoin other globs if they touch.
  • It is only moderately combustable. Extinguish with dry chemical. Fumes could gather in low areas. Don’t smoke; if you eat it don’t induce vomiting as aspiration can cause chemical pneumonia.
  • How toxic is the stuff? If you keep it off your body and don’t eat it, it is not that toxic. Don’t get it on your skin.
  • Health Risks:


Length of exposure and concentration determine risk. The oil contains irritants and carcinogens.

Crude oil likes fats, it likes your skin, it wants to stick on to your skin and soak into it.
Wear a respirator if you think you are sensitive to the fumes.

There are some biological threats in the coastal environments, specifically viral and biological bacteria that can infect cuts. Stay away from sharps (needles).Toxic effects can vary based on gender, age, susceptibilities, health and
routes of exposure- absorption is the #1 way here. You could have toxic effects from inhalation, ingestion, and injection. Don’t do those things.
 Influences on sensitivity: Condition of skin. Duration of exposure. Watch out when you eat, drink or smoke, or better yet: Don’t.
You will smell sulfur. Don’t worry about that, just don’t get the stuff on you.

OSHA allows 5mg/m (then there is a little three up above the last m) every 8 hours of exposure to the petroleum distillated present in the oil. So no problem.

If you eat it (don’t!) you could have nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
If you get it in your eyes, flush for 15 minutes with fresh water.
A skin rash would appear in reaction to the oil sooner rather than later.
If you sweat in gear stay hydrated. You can wear shorts. Suit will keep oily debris off skin.

  • Dealing with the Suit:
  • Get nitrile gloves (not latex gloves).
    You might feel like a dork in the tyvek suit, but it will keep microglobuals of oil off your clothes and hence your skin. Watch out if the suit gets wet as it will weaken and is more likely to tear. Think about tying back long hair and possibly covering it.Jewelry will rip gear sometimes. You might trip on the booties. If you are not working with an official clean-up crew, as these notes were intended for, and you can not get proper booties, you could use bags and duct tape, or designate a pair of old boots for oil cleanup use ONLY. Tape suit over tops of boots. Pay attention to how long you are in the suit. Rest. Take breaks. If you need to take off suit to pee and drink be prepared to do that. You will ruin the suit removing it, so have another ready to put on. Technically you shouldn’t eat or drink in suit. You will need help to get suit on and off. Double glove. Tape front zipper. Sleeves of suit go over gloves and booties. You might have to cut it off. Get help.


  • Questions for the US Coast Guard should be directed to their public information office at (510) 437-3325. 
  • To report oil on the beach or in the water, please call (415) 398-9617.
  • For pickup and disposal of oily waste, please call (415) 398-9617.
  • To report oiled wildlife on the beach or in the water, please call (415) 701-2311.
  • To file a claim for oiled property, please call (886) 442-9650.
  • Public Information Hotline and Media Inquiries, please call (415) 398-9621.

Mon | Day 13 Update – Pacifica, Berkeley, Ocean Beach, Marin

Thank you all for your reports.  Keep them coming in, so we can let the official agencies know where to deploy more resources. 

Per Greg Cochran of Pedro Point Surf Club on Sunday:

 “We have had small amounts of oil washing ashore on all of our beaches.  The Pro Cleanup crew cleaned Linda Mar this AM [Sunday]. Very minimal amounts on all beaches. We will continue to clean as need be. Beaches will remain open, as long as we don’t get massive amounts.  All indicators point to continued small amounts coming in with the High Tides. “


BERKELEY – Volunteers needed
Matter of Trust is sending out more hair mats to Berkeley to get oil off the rocks.  We also had word on Sunday that Berkeley needs more certified volunteers to help with the cleanup of various sites, to supplement the contractor crews’ efforts. 

If you have your card, please call Deborah,  City of Berkeley Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Waterfront  510-703-2825, to be deployed.


OCEAN BEACH: From OB resident, Ben Garcia: “As per sunday at 10 am there was plenty of small oil blobs seen on ocean beach. i walked a small area between fulton and kirkham and in an hour or less had a fistful of oil.”“There were no clean up crews, just ahandful of both gloved and ungloved volunteers that were hoping to find an organized effort. It seems there is still plenty of oil — the blobs are just a lot smaller and harder to spot.”



Per D.Harrison on Sunday: 

“I went by Cronkite today at about noon… Spoke with the Park Ranger and Park Police, word in that hood is that the O’Brien crew had been cleaning that AM (with no “need” for volunteers) and were supposed to be back and were 2 hours late… The park ranger called into dispatch for us and tried to get us cleaning access, but no luck; 1st no guide to “supervise”, 2nd no waste designation area… He than said that a small volunteer crew was at Baker cleaning, but I later found out that was mainly an O’brien/Ind. crew…

….Three Surfers in the water at Cron Sunday AM and a hiker on the coast saw a BIG Great White attacking a seal.  [The shark was] finishing the job right in the breakers… so now Cron is closed to swimmers/surfers due to the shark…But again it looks as if that Marin is still seeing fresh deposits on the beaches, Cronkite is 1/2 way open and all water access is closed due to the shark.   At least mother nature is helping us out, the waves by the way at OB today and at cron were BIG…
But there is still a lot of oil landing, half of Cron was open but both Ranger and Police agreed it was too early to open up access and there should be a lot of volunteers combing the water line and high water line… But there are not…

The word from both employees about Marin is “A big lack of thorough cohesive communication; both on a local and state level with the O’Brien/Indep. cleaners.  Multiple agencies having big issues communicating…”

I will go by a couple of beaches in the AM (Muir/Tennessee Valley) but I hope to have word about Bolinas and Stinson tomorrow as well as the others, again if anybody has heard conflicting news, please let us know.  I have heard that oil has even been found in RCA!”

Sun | Day 12 Update

Per KTS, 403 more folks were trained on Saturday!  That brings it to well over 1400 officially trained in San Francisco.   

Ocean Beach opened up yesterday (although posted signs along the beach still say it’s closed)…but we are getting reports from that Ocean Beach may not be clean enough.  It also sounds like there’s still plenty to cleanup in Marin and East Bay.

East Bay needs help with the wildlife spotting effort (see the East Bay postings). 

For those of you living in OB and Marin, we and our readers want to know about the conditions.  Please write in , while our contacts gather more data.  Pacifica’s Shelter Cove reported oil washing up on Saturday…Our job is still not done, since we still expect to see oil residue washing up at anytime, anywhere.  With your help, we can deploy resources where attention is needed, as KTS is working closely with government agencies.

Per the SF Dept of Emergency Management on Saturday evening:

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SFDEM) and National Park Service (NPS) staff announced Friday, November 16, 2007 that the cleanup of local beaches affected by last week’s catastrophic Cosco Busan oil spill was proceeding at a faster than expected pace. Officials credited the accelerated pace to the overwhelming response by members of the public, with more than 1400 volunteers trained to help in the cleanup as of Saturday, November 17, 2007.


After Saturday, November 17, 2007, there are no planned deployments for volunteers to participate in beach clean ups related to the Cosco Busan Oil Spill in San Francisco.  In addition, there are no future trainings scheduled.  If there is a need for volunteer deployment in the coming weeks, information will be posted on www.sfgov.org/311.  Please check back regularly for the most up-to-date information or call 3-1-1. 

BEACHES OPENED as of 11.17.07 Morning

  • Ft. Point
  • Baker Beach
  • China Beach
  • Crissy Field
  • Ocean Beach (Advisory posted)
  • Linda Mar Beach (Pacifica)
  • Rockaway (Pacifica)
  • Sharp Park Beach (Pacifica)
  • Esplande Beach (Pacifica)

View closed beaches here:  http://www.coscobusanincident.com/go/site/1641/

Fri 11.16 – Day 10 – Maverick’s Update

Per Grant Washburn:

“Surfed tonight [thursday 11.15.07] at Maverick’s… it was breaking a little.  There was no fuel on the beach and the area seemed clean.  Several guys thought they smelled the goo, and there were some odd foam formations drifting around.  There were several dead birds and a seal corpse… but they seemed to be the same old stuff, as opposed to something covered in bunker gunk.  Pacifica to Stinson is still locked down.  OB is like a militarized zone.  Doc and a friend were chased by motorcycles when they crossed the police tape.  The stuff is still moving around, so don’t be surprised if it shows up elsewhere this weekend.”

Thu. 11.15. – PACIFICA Beaches May Open Friday

Per Greg Cochran of Pedro Point Surf Club, 6pm:

“I just got off the phone with Supervisor, Jerry Hill (San Mateo County Board of Supervisors). He so graciously called the San Mateo County Director of Environmental Health at home and got this word from the Director, Dean Peterson. 
They (County, City, Feds) are going to do one more walkthrough on our beaches at 8AM tomorrow morning (Friday, November 16th).

At that time, if all goes well and there is no evidence of oil, the County will issue a Press Release, opening the beaches by 10AM. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that this happens.

We owe a great big thank you to Supervisor Jerry Hill for making these calls after hours. We also owe a big thank you to our own Councilman Jim Vreeland for working so tirelessly on this issue.  Hope to see you all in the water tomorrow at 10AM. “

Thu 11.15 – CleanUp Schedule for Friday & Official Update

From KTS:   Locations for Friday cleanup should be posted by 7:30am that day on the 311 phone line….

Excerpt from the SF Dept of Emergency Management Email late this afternoon:Volunteer deployment for beach clean-up efforts:

The City and County of San Francisco will continue to coordinate deployment of certified volunteers at the staging area at Lincoln and the Great Highway.  Look for the RED TENT in the parking lot.  Volunteers will be provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), collection tools and be assigned to a trained safety officer.   Employees will lead teams of volunteers in the clean-up effort at Ocean Beach.    ALL CERTIFIED VOLUNTEERS SHOULD REPORT TO THE RED TENT at Lincoln and the Great Highway.  Additional plans for clean-up operations are pending for Crissy Field, Baker Beach, and Aquatic Park but volunteers should continue to report to the main staging area. Transportation from this staging area to the other volunteer clean up sites will be provided.

 For the most updated information on volunteer deployments in San Francisco, please call 3-1-1  or visit www.sfgov.org/311. For information on additional volunteer opportunities to support the oil spill response efforts, please visit www.thevolunteercenter.net. 

 Summary report from the State Office of Emergency Services:

Reported as of 6:30 pm on November 14, 2007: 14,974 gallons of oil have been collected.  It is estimated that 4,060 gallons of oil have evaporated. One vessel is currently skimming/collecting oil on the water and 25 support vessels and volunteer fishing vessels are working to remediate the spill.  Three helicopters are surveying the area. The US Coast Guard reports that there are currently 1,517 people participating in the spill response. According to the oil and wildlife care network, 804 live birds and 590 dead birds have been received in their facilities. 

San Francisco Update

In San Francisco, we’re supplementing the beach clean-up work of professional contractors with trained volunteers.  We’re proud to report that approximately 800 volunteers have attended trainings and have been issued a disaster service worker badge from the City’s Department of Human Resources.  Since November 12, 2007 [Monday], trained volunteers have been deployed to Ocean Beach, where the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has established a check-in site and provided safety monitors.  Volunteers are assisting with beach clean-up, wildlife and habitat preservation, and other activities related to the oil spill.

Thu.11.15 Pacifica Volunteers’ Snafu Corrected

(6pm) — A Pacifica volunteer wrote in earlier that there was an ID card snafu.  Due to clerical issue,  the Pacifica officials at the training failed to issue the trainees with the necessary ID cards to prove certification had been completed.  She reported she couldn’t participate in the OB clean-up today and was turned away, despite some clearance attempts via phone & fax.

KILL THE SPILL got word and worked with officials quickly.  The Pacifica list will NOW be posted at the Red Tent –Pacifica volunteers just need to show ID at any cleanup.  San Francisco is honoring the training and certified volunteers from the Pacifica session.

Thanks for your patience. Everybody’s working together, and yes, KTS is working tightly with officials.

– Sources:  BCleary/KTS