San Francisco cleanup to hit $61M or more

Dec. 19, 2007 at 1:14 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Cleaning up San Francisco Bay is likely to cost at least as much as the fine faced by the owner of a ship that spilled 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel.

Admiral Thad Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard, testified Tuesday before a Congressional committee the price tag will be $61 million or more, while $61.8 million is the limit on liability set by the Coast Guard for ships like the Cosco Busan, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Allen told a subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee officials are discussing now whether liability limits should be waived because of gross negligence.

The Cosco Busan, a container ship, struck a tower on the Bay Bridge on Nov. 7. The ship was required to post a $79 million bond before sailing for South Korea for repairs.

Oil spread around the bay and for miles north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge on the California coast. The Coast Guard reports that the total cost of cleanup as of Saturday was $54.7 million, with millions more likely to be spent.

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