California to assist oil spill recovery

10:25, May 13, 2010      

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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on Wednesday that the state will do what it can to help cope with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

He said California is dispatching a team of oil spill experts to the Gulf Coast to assist with oil spill response efforts, following an oil rig explosion on April 20.

The deployment of California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) staff was approved after receiving requests for help from federal agencies and state authorities, Schwarzenegger said.

"For almost 20 years, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has prepared to respond to oil spills on California's coastline and has a highly trained, highly skilled and knowledgeable staff," said the governor. "We continue to see more damage caused by this devastating oil spill, and California will gladly assist with our expertise and experience to help the response efforts in the Gulf."

For this mission, the DFG's Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) has identified experts in natural resource damage assessment, shoreline cleanup assessment, alternative response technologies, geographical information systems and volunteer coordination.

As of this morning, the first batch has been deployed and another batch is expected to leave on May 19.

"California has the good fortune to include nationally recognized experts in oil spill response science," said Steve Edinger, OSPR administrator. "These individuals offer years of experience, education and knowledge that we hope responders in the Gulf will find valuable."

The OSPR was formed by legislation in 1991 in response to two significant oil spills: the 11-million-gallon Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989 and the 416,000 gallon American Trader oil spill in Huntington Beach, California in 1990.

Costs for the California team will be covered by the responsible party and not California taxpayers. In addition, each request for equipment or personnel from California is evaluated carefully to ensure California maintains its own appropriate level of protection, according to Schwarzenegger.

The continuous leak of oil from the remnants of the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico poses a serious threat to sensitive coastal areas, including the California Coast.

Over the past 21 days more than four million gallons of oil have been released, according to press reports.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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