Perata blames governor for slow response to oil spill

State Senate President pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) charged today that California is poorly prepared to deal with oil spills because Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't made appointments to the regional water board or fully funded and staffed an oil spill prevention program.

Speaking at a news conference at the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, which is located near Oakland's waterfront, Perata said Schwarzenegger didn't follow a recommendation by his Department of Finance in 2005 that the oil spill program have its funding and staffing boosted because it's drastically under-funded.

Perata also said that last month Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill authored by Perata that would have strengthened the state's nine regional water boards and made California's frontline enforcers of water laws more

effective and more accountable to the public.

Perata said nearly half of the seats on the state's regional water quality board are empty because Schwarzenegger hasn't filled them.

He said the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Board, which meets in Oakland, doesn't currently have enough members for a quorum and thus can't even meet to decide how to take action on the Cosco Busan spill, which dumped 58,000 gallons of toxic fuel into the San Francisco Bay last week.

Perata said he wants to raise the 5-cent-per-gallon fee the state currently imposes on oil companies, whom he called “polluters,” to provide more funds for the marine oil spill prevention program and fill 34 positions.

Spokespersons for Schwarzenegger weren't immediately available for comment.

— Bay City News

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted changes to The City's streets including Slow Streets closures to increase open space access and the Shared Spaces program, which allows businesses to use public right-of-ways for dining, retail and services. (Examiner illustration)
COVID is reshaping the streets of San Francisco

Walk down Page Street, which is closed to thru-traffic, and you might… Continue reading

At a rally in February, Monthanus Ratanapakdee, left, and Eric Lawson remember Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who died after he was pushed to the pavement in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Examiner file photo)
The criminal justice system can’t fix what’s wrong in our community

My 87-year-old mother walks gingerly, slowly, deliberately, one step in front of… Continue reading

Superintendent Vincent Matthews said some students and families who want to return will not be able to do so at this time. “We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone,” he said. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD sets April reopening date after reaching tentative agreement with teachers union

San Francisco Unified School District has set April 12 as its reopening… Continue reading

José Victor Luna and Maria Anabella Ochoa, who cite health reasons for continuing distance learning, say they have been enjoying walking in Golden Gate Park with their daughters Jazmin, a first grader, and Jessica, a third grader. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Some SFUSD families prefer distance learning

Health issues, classroom uncertainties among reasons for staying home

Most Read