The $25-million skeleton of Platform Gail will be temporarily docked somewhere on the Pacific Coast while Chevron Inc. appeals the California Coastal Commission's refusal to allow the giant oil rig to be located in the Santa Barbara Channel.
With all hope of reversing the commission's opposition dashed by Tuesday's 8-4 vote against the platform, Chevron quickly appealed to Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldridge and started searching for a harbor, hoping to store the huge framework at Long Beach, Astoria, Ore., or Ensenada, Mexico.
The appeal process will take at least 90 days, according to Joan Bondareff, attorney for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the agency assigned to handle the case. Most observers believe that Baldridge most likely will approve the project but will set far less stringent safeguards against environmental impacts than the commission was trying to impose.
Chevron wants to place Gail in 750 feet of water nine miles off Point Hueneme, near the Channel Islands National Park and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.