The use of bunker crude oil, the bargain basement substance that leaked into the San Francisco Bay this month, is under renewed pressure to have it banned. From politicians to scientists to environmental groups, bunker crude is under the gun.
Ocean shipping companies love the $1.70 a gallon price, but with cheap oil comes expensive and damaging consequences. The heavy oil has left lasting damage to the bay’s ecosystem and bird life. The latest 58,000 gallon spill is yet to be cleaned up and dead and dying birds are still being collected in many areas of the bay. Also in the burning of this oil, emissions can be acute and even in cities like Oakland, CA where docked and idling ships run generators, there are threats of litigation over its use.
The toxic gunk is stored in auxiliary “bunker” tanks that power ships’ generators. The Cosco Busan was carrying at least 1 million gallons of the low grade fuel when it ran into the San Francisco Bay Bridge on November 7, 2007. As of this week, only a fifth or 12,000 gallons of the spilled oil had been cleaned up.
This heavy fuel oil is well know carcinogen and contact with skin is ALWAYS to be avoided. When its burned, this high sulphur fuel said to be more than 1,000 times dirtier than the diesel fuel used in trucks and buses.