Assessing the Environmental Damage Caused by Richmond Leak Fuel

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California Fish and Wildlife says it will be out on the water at first light Wednesday, assessing the damage caused by the oil spill in the San Francisco Bay.

They said the fuel spill could impact wildlife on the shoreline and under the water. 

“We have seen sheen in San Pablo Bay, there have been unconfirmed reports of sheen on shoreline, we’re still conducting an investigation and should know more in the morning,” said Eric Laughlin of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Chevron says crews deployed booms to try and contain the spread as soon as they detected the leak. Save the Bay says the spill area is teaming with wildlife.

“The particular spot near the Chevron long wharf is a major haul out for harbor seals and right now in the winter there are many migratory birds in the Bay,” said David Lewis of Save the Bay.

People who live near the wharf say the leak is a reminder of damage refineries can cause.

“The reality with this industry that's pretty smelly and has environmental consequences and really hasn't changed much in our lifetime. It’s time to go green, let's go to the next phase,” said Giuseppi Palombo of Richmond.

Fish and Wildlife said Chevron will be responsible for clean up and response costs. Many in the Bay Area remember the devastating Cosco Busan oil spill in 2007. A much larger spill, but an example of the impact a spill can have.

“It doesn't take a lot of sheen to spread a big area,” said Laughlin. “A few gallons of petroleum can create a big sheen. It’s too early to know the impact at this time.”

Fish and wildlife say if you find oiled birds don't handle them, call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.

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