We put a "toxic tar ball" to the test and refute the myth the clean-up is nearly done! Don't miss this special report!
CBS 5 Investigates finds questionable claims that the tar balls in the Bay are getting cleaned up anytime soon and puts the pollution to the test with the help of the Global Community
GCM is an environmental justice and human rights non profit
that empowers industrial communities to recreate a clean healthy and
truly sustainable environment.
On November 7, a cargo ship, the Cosco Busan, leaked 58,000 gallons
of bunker fuel into the waters of San Francisco Bay when the ship hit
the Bay Bridge mooring. This toxic spill has created both an immediate
environmental crisis and one that will affect the future of our Bay.
Bunker fuel literally comes from the bottom of the barrel when oil
is refined and is more like toxic waste that can be burned than what we
usually imagine as fuel. This toxic fuel is more than 1,000 times
dirtier than the diesel fuel used in trucks and buses.
Bunker fuel -- which powers many cruise and cargo ships -- also
pollutes the air, threatens human health in the Bay Area every day.
When it leaks into the San Francisco Bay, this fuel also endangers
It's time for
California to say NO to toxic bunker fuel, just as we have done for
other kinds of fuels! Global Community Monitor and Oceans and
Communities are calling on the State of California to require a
complete phase-out of bunker fuel use.
We hope to gather at least 1000 signatures in the
next three months and present them to a variety of regulators and
officials who have the power to end the use of bunker fuel in our
state. When California has adopted more stringent regulations, the
nation and the world will follow our lead.
A new report documents that areas like West Oakland are seriously impacted by the air pollution from bunker fuel, causing premature death and serious disease.
See article below:
Report Predicts Substantial Death Toll from Shipping Emissions
November 07, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Dr. James Corbett, University of Delaware, 1-302-981-6859, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. James Winebrake, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1-585-317-4465, email@example.com
NEWARK, Del. -- A scientific article published today by the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology shows that the number of people dying from heart and lung disease as a result of under-regulated shipping emissions totaled 60,000 in 2002, and that death toll is estimated to grow by 40 percent by 2012 due to continued large increase in global shipping traffic. The peer-reviewed study led by Dr. James J. Corbett at the University of Delaware and Dr. James Winebrake of the Rochester Institute of Technology, "Mortality from Ship Emissions: A Global Assessment," is the first research study to estimate global premature deaths linked to harmful emissions from ocean-going vessels. A copy of the abstract and the full article can be downloaded from http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/esthag/asap/pdf/es071686z.pdf.
The new research relates emissions of particulate matter from ships to annual cardiopulmonary and lung cancer deaths. Diesel-powered ocean-going ships burn some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet today -- on average, fuel having almost 2000 times the sulfur content of highway diesel fuel in the US and Europe. While air pollution from diesel trucks and buses has been reduced by over 90 percent over the last several decades, emissions from international ships -- using the same diesel engine technology -- have risen virtually unchecked.
"Right now, we're missing an opportunity to improve the health of millions living in port and coastal cities all over the world," said David Marshall, senior counsel at the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force, a participant in the IMO discussions. "The regulation of polluting emissions from ocean ships lags far behind land-based sources, despite widely available, cleaner technologies already in use. The IMO needs to act now to clean up the shipping industry."
"The science is in -- smokestack pollution is a serious health matter; and waiting any longer to switch to cleaner fuels and engines is negligent at best," said Teri Shore of Friends of the Earth, who partners with Marshall of CATF in international negotiations to strengthen shipping regulations. Friends of the Earth recently sued the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate ship emissions.
The study analyzed ship emissions' health impacts, estimating global and regional mortalities by integrating global ship inventories, atmospheric models, and health impacts functions. The report authors found that health impacts were concentrated in coastal regions along major trade routes. East Asia and South Asia were the most heavily impacted, each representing about one-quarter of the global impact. One-third of all shipping deaths occurred in Europe. About one-tenth of global shipping deaths occurred in North America.
"Ship pollution affects the health of communities in coastal and inland regions around the world, yet pollution from ships remain one of the least regulated parts of our global transportation system," said Dr. James Corbett, associate professor of marine policy at the University of Delaware and lead author of the report. "With more than half the world's population living in coastal regions and freight growth outpacing other sectors, shipping emissions will need to meet stricter control targets."
In contrast, emissions from land-based transportation sources have been reduced significantly in recent years in the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries. In fact, emissions of NOx and SO2 from shipping in European waters are projected to be greater than such emissions from European land-based sources within a decade or so.