“These amendments will satisfy one of British Columbia’s five conditions, which is a world leading land based spill preparedness response regime.”
The provincial government is beefing up its outdated oil spill response and preparedness regulations.
Environment minister Mary Polak says province is tweaking its ‘Environmental Management Act’ to broaden the onus on industry when it comes to oil spill reponse and preparedness.
“It will establish new requirements for spill preparedness response and recovery, create new offences in penalties, enable the certification of a preparedness and response organization, and increase transparency and participation and accountability.”
Polak says the old legislation handed industry a bill after a spill was cleaned up.
She says while it doesn’t require industry to prove financial means, the updated regulations will require companies to prove they have plans in place to prevent a spill or respond to one should it happen.
The Georgia Strait Alliance is welcoming the news as long as they aren’t used to embrace fossil fuel transport.
Executive Director Christianne Wilhelmson says its not on to use the world class oil spill response as an argument for pipelines or as a means to increase transporting fossil fuel.
Wilhelmson says any company moving hazardous materials should prove they have the means and the money to deal with a spill.
“We don’t know anything about some of these companies especially when it comes to shipping, foreign ownership, and flags of convenience. We have no idea if they have the ability to react and be responsible for spills. So from a community perspective it just isn’t acceptable. They are going to put our communities at risk they better be able to have the ability to respond when something goes wrong.”