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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Rapid bus system could increase frequency, reliability in Greater Victoria

BC Transit studies methods for improving major routes in Capital Region

It’s showtime: Victoria theatre reopens with new COVID-19 protocols

Capitol 6 theatre and SilverCity Victoria have reopened with limited seating

Victoria Police searching for missing teen

Arianna Mckenzie, 17, last seen July 2

Victoria man collects 28 bags of trash along two-kilometre stretch of highway

20-year-old spent 12 hours collecting garbage near Thetis Lake

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read