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

Slideshow: Hope’s winter weather in photos

Readers submit photos of Hope under a blanket of snow

Borrow $8 billion for Fraser Valley rail link, Abbotsford mayor urges province

Henry Braun urges province to borrow billions to connect Abbotsford & Chilliwack to Metro Vancouver

Vandals destroy sign at Hope Legion

Sign found to have fire damage and missing letters Tuesday morning

Upper Fraser RCMP joins Twitter

Twitter feed once limited to Chilliwack expands

Three concerts in two weeks at Bozzini’s Upstairs Lounge in Chilliwack

Jon Brooks and Lynne Hanson are up first, followed by WiL and then Dan Bern for February concerts

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Much-raided Langley animal rescue society loses registered charitable status

Revoked following an audit by Canada Revenue Agency, records show

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Youth hit with gun butt during fight at Lower Mainland mall

RCMP are investigating the fight between two groups of youths

Weather warning: 80 mm of rain expected overnight in Metro Vancouver

Environment Canada is urging caution when driving

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Most Read