BC Ministry of Environment-Spill Response Study Vol 1.

Posted March 28, 2013 | Categories : BC Parks,Issues,Management,Marine Reserves,Oil Spill Threat |

VOLUME 1: Assessment of British Columbia
Marine Oil Spill Prevention & Response Regime, March  28, 2013.

Original PDF was at:
Internal copy of VOLUME 1 PDF on this website: WestCoastSpillResponse_Vol1_InitialAssessment_130717

Below is presented the executive summary of VOLUME 1



Assessment of British Columbia Marine Oil Spill Prevention & Response Regime

March 28, 2013


As the volume of shipping on Canada’s west coast has increased, and with several major marine transportation projects proposed for British Columbia’s ports, the provincial government has a strong interest in understanding the risks associated with increased shipping and ensuring a world-class marine oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response regime is in place. The Ministry of Environment commissioned this report to provide an assessment of the current oil spill prevention and response regime on the west coast.

The Government of BC has the opportunity now to seek consensus among the agencies, companies, and public interest organizations who have a stake in the safe operation of marine vessels in establishing exactly what “world class” looks like and identifying and pursuing the voluntary and/or legislated means of achieving it.

Canada’s regulatory framework establishes prevention measures that are primarily overseen and implemented by the federal government and a spill preparedness, response, and recovery system that has the “polluter-pays principle” at its core. There is one industry-funded response organization based in British Columbia that implements marine oil spill response for western Canada. This organization, the Western Canada Marine Spill Corporation (WCMRC), has equipment based along the BC coast and is certified by Transport Canada as being able to respond to a 10,000t spill to marine waters.

Nuka Research ran a series of simulated oil spills to illustrate how much spilled oil could be collected using WCMRC’s equipment resources and forces cascaded from nearby US states. These simulations considered some, though not all, of the real-world factors that will impact a spill response. Based on the results of these simulations and a high level review of existing laws and regulations, several areas warranting further consideration and possible enhancement are identified as important to the continued effort by agencies, companies, and public interest organizations to establish what a world-class system should look like for the west coast of Canada and how to get there.These include the response planning standard, general oversight, inter-agency coordination, the location of resources along BC’s coastline, and planning assumptions and operational procedures such as a significant reliance on contractors and an assumed 24- hour operational period.

This is the first of three volumes, which together will form the substance of the West Coast Oil Spill Response Study.

Volume 2 of this study will present a vessel traffic analysis that estimates current vessel traffic movements, including the quantity of petroleum products moved as cargo and bunker on marine vessels in BC.

Volume 3 will consider the current system for prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery in BC in light of system components in other parts of Canada, the US, and Europe. There is no one system that all can agree to be the best,” and even if there were, it may not be suitable to BC’s unique context in its entirety. However, Volume 3 will build on the information and analysis presented here to provide one perspective on what a world-class system might look like on Canada’s west coast