Canadian, US Coast Guards Renew Pollution Contingency Plan
On November 19, 2022, Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Mario Pelletier and U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Linda L. Fagan signed the renewed Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan to provide a coordinated system for planning, preparedness and response to spills occurring in the waters between the two countries.
The Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan provides a coordinated mechanism for planning, preparing for and responding to spills in transboundary waters and establishes procedures for the coordination of spill response efforts between Canada and the U.S. It allows both coast guards to work together to mitigate any potential pollution impacts on the marine environment.
The area of responsibility under the Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan extends along the Canada-United States border, from coast to coast to coast, and addresses transboundary waters in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Beaufort Sea, as well as the Great Lakes.
The Canadian and United States coast guards work together on a range of services, including environmental response, search and rescue, icebreaking, marine traffic management, and aids to navigation.
Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, said, “This agreement reflects the excellent continuing bilateral collaboration between our two organizations, including in preparedness and response to marine pollution incidents in our shared waters. For the Canadian Coast Guard, the Joint Contingency Plan represents a model framework for how two likeminded countries can work effectively together with common purpose, learn from each other, and produce excellent results.”
Admiral Linda Fagan, Commandant, United States Coast Guard, said, “This plan signifies the excellent partnership between our Services and advances our preparedness for responding to trans-boundary oil spills and marine incidents. The U.S. Coast Guard looks forward to continuing our collaborative work to protect our shared maritime environment.”