Bay Area officials submit oil spill legislation

Members of the state assembly gathered in San Francisco today to announce the introduction of legislation addressing oil spill response and to call on the governor to set up an independent review of the response to the Nov. 7 Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay.

Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-East Bay, Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Sally Lieber, D-San Jose, Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City, and Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, made the announcement this morning at the Ramp Restaurant, located on San Francisco’s bay waterfront.

The proposed legislation is intended to strengthen the state’s oil spill prevention and response laws; increase the ability of local agencies to respond to spills; assist the development of new technologies in spill response; and require stricter standards for large, nontank vessels in state waters, according to Hans Hemann, a spokesman for Hancock.

The legislation will be submitted in January, Hemann said.

The legislators also called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to set up an independent commission to review the Cosco Busan response effort and make improvements to the state’s oil spill response program, according to Hemann.

State Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco/North Bay, and other state senators today also announced the introduction of similar legislation addressing oil spill response and called on the governor to support an independent investigation of the Cosco Busan response by the state auditor.

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