It’s been three weeks since the Nathan E. Stewart ran aground near Bella Bella, spilling over 100,000 litres of deisel fuel.
Now, there’s a nearly identical vessel on its way up the coast, and Kai Nagata of the Dogwood Initiative says it’s cause for concern.
“You know, we haven’t even cleaned up the last one, we don’t know what went wrong, the investigation is still ongoing and the thing isn’t even cleaned up and the federal government has okay-ed the next American tanker barge to make its way right past the same spot, so it just seems like it’s a little bit early before we figure out what went wrong the first time and how do we clean this stuff up?”
The local Heiltsuk First Nation have said they’re considering legal against the U.S. company that owns the Nathan E. Stewart, and have also called out the government for poor communication during clean-up efforts.
They also say the spill has started to impact local wildlife, and that many jobs will likely be lost as a result of the spill.
Nagata says these U.S. tankers might not be best for B.C.’s coastline.
“This is a design that was pioneered in the American south. Just, economics being what they are, these companies have chosen to adapt these pusher barges to the West Coast and I think that raises real questions if we’re unable to respond, or to clean up when one of these things runs aground.”
The Heiltsuk First Nation has officially called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to put a moratorium on North Coast tankers moving forward.
Nagata was speaking on CKNW Tonight with Mike Smyth.