BC’s environment minister likes what she sees in new federal safety measures to prevent spills from oil tankers–and clean them up if they happen.
Mary Polak says the new regulations may come close to meeting one of BC’s five conditions for approving pipelines.
“Well we think it’s a very significant step in getting us to the place where we can achieve world class marine spill response, people will know that that’s one of our five conditions for any oil pipeline in British Columbia, and so we’re very pleased to see this significant step.”
Polak says staff from her office will meet with Transport Canada officials tomorrow to better understand the new regime.
The changes include a higher liability cap for oil companies in the event of a spill, and new clean-up measures like the use of chemicals to disperse spilled oil.
But Polak says BC still needs more information and there are four other conditions that must be met.
And even though they’re a federal responsibility, Polak says pipelines must still get provincial permits to proceed.
“If the permitting officials determine that there are adverse impacts on the environment, they wouldn’t grant that permit.”
Ottawa is expected to make a decision on the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline in the next few weeks.