Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Cosco Busan Restoration Planning Process Moves Forward

Jan 22, 2010

For Immediate Release

Contacts:DFG OSPR: Steve Hampton, (916) 323-4724, shampton@ospr.dfg.ca.gov
             USNOAA: Greg Baker, (650) 329-5048, greg.baker@noaa.gov    
             USFWS: Al Donner, 916/414-6566, al_donner@fws.gov

 Cosco Busan Restoration Planning Process Moves Forward; Agencies Formally Proceed with Restoration Planning for Injuries from 2007 Spill 

Natural resource trustees for the spill of 53,000 gallons of intermediate fuel oil in San Francisco Bay by the M/V Cosco Busan announced today that they are proceeding to the next stage of restoration planning.

Publication of the Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register signals the agencies’ determination to proceed with Restoration Planning and ultimately to determine specific restoration actions needed to compensate for the injuries caused by the 2007 spill. 

Announcement of the NOI follows the extensive effort to collect data and conduct relevant scientific studies over the past two years. The trustees have made substantial analyses of the spill’s impacts. As indicated in the NOI, the bunker oil discharged from the M/V Cosco Busan is harmful to certain aquatic organisms, birds, wildlife, and vegetation that were exposed to the oil.  

The trustees have determined that the incident has injured natural resources of San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and their adjoining shorelines, and impaired the services which those resources provide. Categories of impacted and potentially impacted resources include birds, shoreline habitats, marine mammals, fish, and eelgrass, as well as effects to human use resulting from the impacts on the resources.  The trustees have conducted studies in cooperation with the Responsible Parties to evaluate injuries and potential injuries within these categories. The full nature and extent of injuries will be determined during the injury assessment phase of restoration planning. 

Among the injuries, the trustees estimate that approximately 6,688 seabirds were killed due to the spill, and 2,996 acres of shoreline were exposed to oil..

The natural resource trustees, designated under federal and state law, are California: Department of Fish and Game and State Lands Commission;  Federal: Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

The purpose of the Restoration Planning effort noticed in the NOI is 1) to further evaluate injuries to natural resources and services, and 2) to use that information to determine the type and scale of restoration actions.  Generally, the NOI confirms that injuries have occurred and that those injuries can be addressed by restoration actions. The specific restoration actions will be more fully explored during Restoration Planning.  The NOI also gives the public further opportunity to suggest restoration project ideas. 

Details are found in the accompanying initial Administrative Record, which includes some of the supporting data collected and the scientific studies done to assess the nature and extent of injury. It includes a Google Earth layer showing the extent of oiling to the shorelines.  

Trustees have been working with Regal Stone Limited and Fleet Management Limited, the two parties determined to have responsibility for the Nov. 7, 2007 spill.