The Unified Command for the Cosco Busan oil spill continues response efforts as the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response assisted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency personnel offer health and safety training for pre-registered volunteers looking to assist with oiled debris cleanup on beaches around the Bay Area.
Volunteers receive four-hour hazardous waste operations training, including use of protective clothing, properties and hazards of oil, and hazards of shoreline work. The Fish and Game spill prevention office trains city and county employees as future trainers. Volunteers are certified as State Disaster Service Workers for the duration of the Cosco Busan incident.
Field supervisors from Berkeley, San Francisco and San Mateo County have also been trained, along with approximately 1,300 volunteers to date. Supervisors oversee volunteer contingents in cleanup activities.
Response-division supervisors will coordinate volunteers and city supervisors to assist cleanup crews. Ship owner Regal Stone Inc. is providing Tyvek coveralls, gloves, shoe protection, bags, and disposal containers for the cleanups.
The public is still urged to avoid areas and wildlife that are affected, as untrained people can cause further damage to the environment and stress on the wildlife. Allowing dogs to run on impacted beaches will create an even greater stress for injured wildlife. Concerned citizens should call 415.701.2311 to report any sightings of oiled wildlife. Please note this is a new number, and the number used previously is no longer in service.
Volunteers can register for beach cleanup and training at www.sfconnect.org and www.californiavolunteers.org. Trainings are currently scheduled in Half Moon Bay, San Francisco and Berkeley.
Upcoming local volunteer health and safety training: http://www.sfgov.org/site/sf311_index.asp?id=70813.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency