Oil Spill would ‘overwhelm’ BC resources. ( Canadian Press)
In the Canadian Press today, Stanley Tromp writes on the problems of handling potential oil spills in British Columbia.
Our concern with the effect of Oil Spills from the proposed increase in tanker traffic past our ecological reserves has been mentioned in previous posts. See :http://ecoreserves.bc.ca/category/issues/oil-spill-threat/
“VANCOUVER – Officials in British Columbia privately warned the province lacks the ability to manage oil spills from existing and future oil traffic, and even a moderate spill would overwhelm their ability to respond, documents show.
Ottawa’s decision to deal with coastal oil spills from a base in Quebec would make it much harder to contain spills, and Transport Canada and the Coast Guard lack the needed “environmental expertise” to manage them, officials said the documents obtained by The Canadian Press under freedom of information laws.
The notes were written by B.C. environment ministry bureaucrats for the incoming minister’s briefing book in June, and other concerns were detailed by emergency response officials in memos from last year.
B.C. environment ministry bureaucrats voiced a range of misgivings for minister Mary Polak.
“The Ministry of Environment, as the ministry responsible for preparedness, prevention, response and recovery for spills, is not adequately staffed and resourced to meet the existing and emerging expectations to address spills,” they wrote in the briefing book.
“Even a moderately-sized spill would overwhelm the province’s ability to respond and could result in a significant liability for government . . . The industry requirements, established by Transport Canada, are perceived as being insufficient in both scope and scale. For example, in both Washington State and Alaska industry requirements are far in excess of what is required in B.C.”
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