BC Environment minister cautiously optimistic over oil spill prevention changes

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

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.


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  1. WOW the new rule basically comes down to the taxpayers on the hook for the cleanup and the federal government is going to allow company’s like Enbridge and kinder Morgan to walk away with their hands in the air saying O well as^!! Happens. And polak thinks this is a step in the right direction wow what a joke this woman is…

  2. How does one apply chemicals to spilled dilbit to make it disperse when it has sunk to the bottom of the drink?

    The Federal government didn’t come up with any resolutions, just political spin.

  3. “If the permitting officials determine that there are adverse impacts on the environment, they wouldn’t grant that permit.”

    Please don’t insult our intelligence Mary. We all know of instances where rules weren’t adheared to in the name of getting on with the program. Just ask your fellow minister Bill Bennett. He has bent many rules in the past year in the name of progress. I’m afraid the environment plays second fiddle to government agenda.

  4. Where are all the hurray people that support the destruction of our Coasts and inlets,I said all along that Christy Clark gave the Harper/Cons the rights to do what they think is best,For China’s wealth development.

  5. THIS IS A DONE DEAL MARK MY WORD, JUST LIKE THE HST OR CANADA LINE VOTE . THESE POLITICIANS WILL BE LONG GONE AND NEVER HEARD FROM AGAIN BUT STILL GETTING A HUGE PENSION. Do you ever hear from Hansen or Campbell any more. They sold out the province, No use debating it again you ever listen to this station millions of advertising for the hst and this pipeline. And this Janet Holder another mouthpiece, try going to there website and leave a comment it wont let you. Mark my words Harper will ram this through