FUMO ASSESSES OIL SPILL IMPACT WITH COAST GUARD, DEP
PHILADELPHIA, December 9, 2004 Ė Earlier this week, state Senator Vince Fumo toured the area of the Delaware River affected by oil spilled from the tanker ATHOS 1 on November 26.
He took a helicopter flight Monday to view the extent of the problem, and received a briefing on clean-up efforts from officials of the U.S. Coast Guard and the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Fumo, a Democrat from the first state senatorial district, represents an area that includes a substantial portion of the riverfront. In addition, he sits on the Delaware River Port Authority, and has a long history of working on port-related matters during his 26-year career as a public official.
"An accident of this nature has an impact on more than the environment, although water quality and wildlife are important. It also causes problems for commerce at the port, and those problems can then be felt throughout our local economy," Fumo said.
The spill of as much as 473,000 gallons has marred 85 miles of Delaware River shoreline. More than 1,600 workers have participated in the clean-up so far. The cause of the spill was a rusty pipe jutting from the bottom of the river, tearing a gash in the shipís hull.
Fumo met with Joseph Feola, Regional Director, and Ron Drake, Emergency Response Coordinator, of DEPís Southeast Regional Office, along with Philadelphia Station Coast Guard commander Capt. Jonathan Sarubbi and Lt. Commander Sue Klein. State Rep. Bill Keller accompanied Fumo on the inspection.
After the helicopter flyover, Fumo and Keller went to the clean-up command center at the Holiday Inn, fourth and Arch Sts., to learn more about how the situation is being addressed.
"Unquestionably, a great deal of damage has been done, but I want to compliment and thank those professionals and volunteers who have put so much hard work into containing and cleaning up the spill, and rescuing the wildlife," Fumo said.