California Legislation Aims to Improve Oil Spill Response
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
More than half-a-dozen bills aimed at improving the state's response to oil spills cleared a key legislative committee Monday. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.
Assembly Democrats introduced a number of bills in response to last November's oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. They say the measures will strengthen the state's role in clean-up and prevention. One of the measures by Assemblywoman Lois Wolk is aimed at inland spills-such as when a pipeline breaks and oil leaks into a waterway.
Wolk: Many people would be surprised to know that there are twice as many inland oil spills as there are marine oil spills, but the state responds to less than a third.
Wolk says her bill would also increases penalties for such spills. Opponents of the measure include the Western States Petroleum Association -- which says adequate fines are in place. Other bills would expand the requirement for tugboat escorts for ships carrying hazardous cargo-and set up training programs for volunteers to help respond to an oil spill.