British Columbia: oil spill response shows unprepared for more tankers

Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:50pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Julie Gordon

VANCOUVER, April 10 (Reuters) - British Columbian officials on Friday criticized the Canadian government's response to an oil spill in the waters around Vancouver, calling into question plans for new crude oil export pipelines in the Pacific Coast province.

Nearly 3,000 liters of oil spilled after an anchored bulk carrier began leaking bunker fuel in English Bay, just west of Vancouver's downtown core, on Wednesday.

Officials in the province said the coast guard responded but was slow to contain the slick, which spread towards beaches. They said the federal agency failed to notify the cities of Vancouver and West Vancouver until early Thursday, delaying public safety warnings by more than 12 hours.

"It took them six hours to get booms in place ... in the busiest port in Canada where they have all the resources," British Columbia's Premier Christy Clark told reporters.

"There will not be any expansion of heavy oil movement out of this port or any other port in British Columbia until we get world-class spill response, period."

Federal Industry Minister James Moore said it was "highly inappropriate" to criticize the response while the clean-up was unfinished.

Canadian regulators are weighing Kinder Morgan's plan to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver, which would dramatically increase the number of oil tankers traveling through the Burrard Inlet each month.

The project is opposed by environmental groups and some residents, who worry about the impact of a major spill.   Continued...