Escorted tanker passes sails through Second Narrows after loading at Westridge Terminal in Burnaby

B.C. moving to tighten oil spill law

Regulations for pipeline protection to take effect next year, Ottawa needed to reach 'world leading' oil spill protection at sea

The B.C. government has introduced changes to its environmental law to require more oil spill prevention measures and to enforce cleanup and restoration if a spill takes place on land.

Environment Minister Mary Polak said Monday the new regulations and penalties are expected to take effect in early 2017, to fulfil one of the province’s conditions for approving new heavy oil transport projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The goal is to impose “world leading” spill prevention and response capability on land, and to work with the federal government to establish the same standard at sea, which is Ottawa’s responsibility.

Polak released a new report from consultants Nuka Research that surveyed other spill protection systems around the world.

It compared practices in Australia, Europe, the U.S., Norway and the ship escort system used in Prince William Sound, Alaska after the crude oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989. The Alaska system includes a network of trained, on-call fishing vessels and crew that can provide an immediate first response to incidents at sea.

Polak said the legislation and regulations will update a system that hasn’t changed since the 1980s.

“Our old regulatory scheme really only placed requirements on industries after a spill had occurred,” Polak said. “The biggest change here is the scope of this, where we’re requiring them to have plans in place. We’re also requiring them to have plans to prevent a spill from ever occurring.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

Painting Ourselves Visible group to create mural

A new partnership between Kootenay Gallery of Art and Castlegar Pride

Castlegar Skating Club prepares for regional championships

Watch local skaters on March 11 at 4:30 p.m.

Castlegar council develops policy for question period

Questions must pertain to current agenda items and issues or items of interest to the general public

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Most Read