SF Oil Cleanup Gases Up, Volunteers Rebuffed

Coast Guard sends eager residents home
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2007 6:44 AM CST
A worker with NRC Environmental Services cleans the oil-covered Rodeo Beach near Muir Beach, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2007. Some 58,000 gallons of oil were spilled into the bay after a container ship...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As cleanup of the San Francisco oil spill intensifies, so does the frustration of volunteers blocked from pitching in. At least one organizer ended up in handcuffs when his group ignored a park ranger's order to get off a beach and instead scooped up globs of oil. Hundreds of residents who arrived for what they thought were training sessions were told to go home because oil is "hazardous," reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Coast Guard, criticized for its slow response to the disaster, has quadrupled the armada of cleanup boats and doubled the force of workers. But environmentalists say the action was too slow to stop major contamination, and 20 beaches have been closed. The Coast Guard said yesterday that human error caused the 58,000-gallon oil spill that occurred when a tanker crashed into the Bay Bridge.