San Francisco, CA (28 January): A panel of outside experts formed by the commandant of the Coast Guard to study the response to the Cosco Busan oil spill today released the first of two reports it was chartered to produce. The 120-page ‘Phase I’ report looks at the first two weeks of response operations that unfolded in the wake of the Nov. 7 incident. A second report on the entire cleanup operation is due in several months.
The panel was not tasked with determining the cause of the incident and the report deals only with preparedness and response to the spill. The report contains 59 recommendations related to preparedness, and 79 aimed at improving response operations. These range from relatively simple ideas, such as making oiled wildlife reporting hotlines easier to access, to changes in spill response operations and research on remote sensing technology for detecting spills in low visibility conditions.