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B.C. proposes new regulations for oil spill preparedness and response

B.C. government wants to study if and how heavy oil can be safely transported and cleaned up in the event of a spill.

The Government of British Columbia is proposing new provincial regulations aimed at improving spill preparedness, response and recovery. The province will seek feedback from First Nations, industry, municipalities, and environmental groups in five specific areas:

 1.  Response times;
 2. Geographic response plans (GRP);
 3. Compensation for loss of public and cultural use of land;
 4. Maximizing application of regulations to marine spills; and,
 5. Restricting transportation of increased diluted bitumen (dilbit) volumes until the impact and mitigation of potential spills are better understood.

An independent scientific advisory panel will be created to make recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy on if, and how, heavy oil can be safely transported and cleaned up in the event of a spill. In the interim, the provincial government is proposing regulatory restrictions be placed on increased volumes of dilbit being transported.

CAPP notes that after a lengthy and rigorous regulatory review, the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline was approved by the federal government and has met five conditions mandated by the B.C. government to proceed. Says CAPP spokesperson, Chelsie Klassen. “The Government of Canada has committed to increasing access to tidewater for the export of our natural resources and the time to build is now.”

Adds Klassen, “Canada’s boasts world-class regulations for transportation of its natural resources, exceeding other international jurisdictions. The Trans Mountain expansion will be monitored and regulated by the National Energy Board under the Pipeline Safety Act.”