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What happens if there's an oil spill off BC's coast?

Global News Vancouver radio host Lynda Steele asks Michael Lowry of the WCMRC about spills and whether bitumen floats.

In an interview that aired on the Lynda Steele Show (Global News Radio Vancouver, 980 CKNW), host Lynda Steele chats with Michael Lowry of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) to find out what can be done if there's an oil spill. The WCMRC is the Transport Canada certified organization responsible for spill response on Canada's West Coast.

Some quotes from Michael Lowry:

“We have not had to clean up a single drop of oil from a tanker. There hasn't been a single incident involving a tanker on Canada's West Coast in the 40 years we've been in business. So that risk is highly over-exaggerated in the public’s mind...Tankers have a ton of regulations around them, in terms of escort tugs, double hulls, B.C. pilots.” 

“It [bitumen] floats. Not only does our experience back that up, there’s been a number of researchers, through the Canadian government, through Environment Canada, and Natural Resources Canada that looked into [diluted bitumen] and their conclusions are all the same: it behaves very similar to a conventional crude product, so it does float…Our experience and our research backs up the fact that we’re not concerned about that product sinking.”


Additional reading:

O&G 101: What is the WCMRC?



In this article, Context speaks with:
  • Michael Lowry
    Michael Lowry Communications Managers at Western Canada Marine Response Corporation