Province releases marine spill study

The province of B.C. has released a study assessing the preparedness for marine spills on the west coast.

The province has released a study which assesses current marine-spill preparedness and response capabilities, which concludes the federal government needs to commit more resources to protect the west coast.

The research was commissioned to Nuka Research, an international expert in spill preparedness and response, according to the province of B.C.’s news release.

There are three volumes in the large study, the first dealing with the assessment of existing marine-spill prevention and response, a second which assesses marine traffic that exists and proposed, and a third that analyzes international best practices and what is needed to establish world-class marine spill preparedness.

The province says the study “lays the foundation for building a world-class marine spill response and preparedness system, one of the province’s five conditions for considering heavy oil pipelines in B.C.”

“While we respect federal jurisdiction over marine spills, we must ensure B.C.’s interests are being met, and that means adding more resources to protect our coast. This study is essential to informing our discussions with the federal government in building a world-class marine spill response system,” said Mary Polak through the news release.

The Government of Canada shortly after said they welcomed the study. The federal Minister of Transportation Lisa Raitt that the government is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians and the environment.

The government has appointed a Tanker Safety Expert Panel that will propose further measures to strengthen marine safety.

“Our government shares a common goal with the BC government – the responsible development of resources to benefit all Canadians supported by a world-class Marine Oil Spill Prevention & Response System,” Raitt added.