Civil Settlement Reached in Cosco Busan Allision

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September 19, 2011

Federal and state government officials said Monday they reached a $44.4 million settlement with the operator of a oil tanker container ship that crashed into the San Francisco Bay Bridge in 2007, spilling 53,000 gallons of bunker fuel oil.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the governments of California, San Francisco, and Richmond, Calif., signed a consent decree with Regal Stone Ltd. and Fleet Management Ltd. that requires the vessel owners to pay $44.4 million to cover environmental damage and penalties associated with the oil spill.

The ship, called the M/V Cosco Busan, which is owned by Regal Stone and managed by Fleet Management, crashed into the Bay Bridge Nov. 7, 2007, on its way from the Port of Oakland to the Pacific Ocean. The ship’s fuel tank punctured and spilled the fuel oil into the bay, according to government reports.

The oil spill hurt birds, fish and their habitats and also impacted recreational and other uses of the bay, the government said.

Of the $44.4 million payment, about $23.5 million plus interest will go to the Interior Department; $7.3 million will go to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation; $1.1 million will go to the city and county of San Francisco and $669,000 to the city of Richmond.

-By Cassandra Sweet, Dow Jones Newswire

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