Unclear if oil sheens in San Pablo Bay related to foul stench in Vallejo

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A mysterious odor in the East Bay sent a hundred people to the emergency room and it's still not clear what caused it, or if it's connected to nearby oil sheens. (KGO-TV)

A mysterious odor in the East Bay sent a hundred people to the emergency room and it's still not clear what caused it, or if it's connected to nearby oil sheens.

The Coast Guard Wednesday night has confirmed the oil sheens in San Pablo Bay. One is a mile long and the other is surrounding an oil tanker at the Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo.

The Coast Guard is investigating, but still doesn't know if one thing led to another when it comes to connecting a mysterious odor.

RELATED: Mystery odor in Vallejo prompts shelter-in-place

The mystery started Tuesday night when people in the southern part of Vallejo began calling 911 to complain of an odd odor.

"It was strong it burned your throat and nose, yeah, like rotten eggs. I got home and it was all in my place," said Vallejo resident Africa Nutt.

At the same time, a sheen was spotted in San Pablo Bay, one the Coast Guard described as a mile long and 40 yards wide. It was enough to prompt the San Francisco bay ferry to temporarily halt service from Vallejo to San Francisco.

"There's only two buses running. It's going to take all day long and no one has that kind of time," said Kelly Strong.

RELATED: Dozens sickened by mystery odor in Vallejo

Then, officials at the Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo confirmed there was another sheen around a ship docked at their terminal one discovered by a worker just after 8 a.m. The tanker Yamuna Spirit arrived in Rodeo on Monday.

"Operations at the marine terminal have been temporarily shut down and we are working closely with the Coast Guard and other agencies regarding the response," a Phillips 66 spokesman said.

By midday, an orange boom was going up around the ship. California Fish and Wildlife and Baykeeper both sent teams to the scene.

"We don't know the actual volume. We don't know the material. We don't know the source at this point," said Amy Norris, public information officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Coast Guard collected samples before the oil slipped away.

"We collected some samples to try to determine what the oil was, where it was coming from, and there's a process to identifying that oil," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Megan Mervar.

"There's a lot of sensitive wetland communities in that area. We want to make sure the areas around Point San Pablo and Point Pinole are protected and the wetlands aren't inundated," said Ian Wren of San Francisco Baykeeper.

So far, the Coast Guard says there have been no reports of injured or oiled wildlife.

Related Topics:
newsPG&Egas fumeshealthcoast guardfirefightersoil spillferryoilinvestigationVallejoRodeo
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