Canada Seeks Tightened Marine Oil Spill Plan

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Canada moved on Tuesday to strengthen its response plan for oil spills at sea ahead of the development of new pipelines that would sharply increase tanker traffic in Canadian waters if they are built.

Among the new measures, the federal government said it would remove a per-incident liability cap on a domestic clean-up fund, which means that all the money in the fund could be made available to clean up a single spill. It also pledged to cover spill costs if clean-up funds were exhausted.

It also said it will lift its ban on the use of dispersants in cases when using them offers a net environmental benefit. Dispersants are chemicals that break down oil slicks but can also harm marine life.

"With these changes, Canada will have the most robust and comprehensive liability and compensation system in the world," Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said in announcing the Conservative government's plan at an event in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The changes to the ship-source oil spill regime come as the government readies to rule on Enbridge Inc's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta to the British Columbia Coast.

Regulators are also reviewing Kinder Morgan's plan to twin its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast. Those two projects could bring an additional 600 tankers to Canada's Pacific Coast each year.

Also, TransCanada Corp has proposed a pipeline to ship Alberta crude east to refineries in Quebec and New Brunswick, increasing tanker traffic off the East Coast and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The pipelines are opposed by many environmentalists and aboriginal groups, which fear spills and the possibility that pipelines will hasten development of the Alberta oil sands and exacerbate climate change.

The government has pushed hard to reassure Canadians that it has policies in place to manage increased tanker traffic and respond if there is a major spill.

Under the revised plan, Canada will lift the C$161 million ($147.65 million) cap on its Ship-Source Oil Pollution Fund, making available the full amount if needed for a single incident. There is about C$400 million in the fund currently.

Raitt said that in a worst-case spill, once all domestic and international pollution funds have been tapped, the government will pay out any remaining compensation, and then recover that cost through an industry levy.

The government said it will also invest in new navigation technologies to help vessels move safely through congested waterways and support scientific research looking at how different types of heavy oils behave in marine environments.

The new plan comes five months after a government panel cautioned that Canada must be better prepared to respond to major oil spills if more crude starts to flow in pipelines to its Pacific Coast.

($1=$1.09 Canadian)

(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson; and Peter Galloway)

Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


Zim plans Wall Street IPO

Israel’s Zim Integrated Shipping Services has hired two banks to carry out its initial public offering (IPO) in the US, Bloomberg reported.   Zim Integrated

Friendship to Green Ships

Korea and Denmark both have ambitious national plans for a transition to greener and more energy efficient economies.    The Danish-South Korean Green Growth Alliance met for roundtable talks.

EfficienSea2 Rolls out Maritime Cloud

The Danish-led e-navigation project, EfficienSea2, got one step closer to being launched when a core element of the project – Maritime Cloud – was debated by a

Government Update

Cordero Reconfirmed as FMC Commissioner

Mario Cordero was reconfirmed today as a U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner.   Cordero joined the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) as a Commissioner on June 3,

White House Backs El Faro Investigation

President Barack Obama on Wednesday offered condolences to the families of the 33 sailors presumed to have lost their lives aboard cargo ship El Faro which is believed

Steel Cut on UK Navy’s Newest Warship

Construction has begun on a new warship for the U.K. Royal Navy as the Minister of State for Defense Procurement, Philip Dunne MP cut the first steel in Glasgow today.

Offshore Energy

Seadrill Hopes to See Market Turn in 2017

Offshore rig driller Seadrill is facing another two years in the doldrums but hopes the international rig market could turn around in 2017.   Rig rates have more

Oil Spill Statfjord North Sea Field - Statoil

Loading of tankers suspended, unclear when it will resume. Oil spilled into the North Sea during the loading of a tanker at Norway's Statfjord field on Thursday, operator Statoil said.

MacGregor Wins Deck Machinery Order in China

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has signed contracts with Chinese shipyard Guangzhou Shunhai Shipyard Ltd to deliver anchor handling/towing winch packages for five

Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4917 sec (2 req/sec)