Cleanup of Albany’s tainted shoreline could be finished by weekend

cleaning rocksWorkers are rubbing oiled-tainted rocks on Albany’s shoreline with rugs and pompom-like scrapers, since large sludges of oil have been removed. No chemicals are used to dissolve the oil to avoid further pollution. Photo by Linjun Fan.

Three quarters of the oil spill along Albany’s shoreline has been cleaned, according to Darren Johnson, a supervisor for the O’Briens Group, the contractor for the oil spill cleanup, and the waterfront could be declared safe by weekend.

“We are pulling resources here from other places, ” said Johnson. ” The work can be finished by Friday. “

A record 146 workers were cleaning up the rocks near Albany Beach and at the Bulb Wednesday, 60 of them just arriving in the morning, while the others have been rubbing the tainted rocks in Albany for about 10 days. They won’t take a break on Thanksgiving Day, working for eight hours instead of their usual 12 hours.

Experts from Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team will come for inspection when Johnson and his colleagues think that their work is completed. The waterfront won’t be regarded as a “safety zone” until a second team of officials from the Unified Command of the Cosco Busan Oil Spill approves the assessment.

Once the cleanup is finished, a 100-foot-long line will be placed at the beach to absorb potential oil washed ashore by tides.

Workers are rubbing the rocks with rugs and pompom-like scrapers, since large sludges of oil have been removed. No chemicals are used to dissolve the oil to avoid further pollution.

“We try to remove as much oil as we can mechanically, ” said Bob Flint, a division supervisor of the O’Briens Group. “Eventually Mother Nature is going to help us with its sun and rain. “

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