Spill Preparedness and Prevention

Chair Al Richmond represented the UBCM membership at the recent Clean Pacific Conference by taking part in a panel discussion on the impact of energy transport on the environment, the economy, and communities.

Chair Richmond brought forward UBCM’s policy position, as well as his personal experience with the Mount Polley mine spill in 2014. Richmond noted that the membership had opposed projects that would lead to the expansion of tanker oil traffic in BC’s waters (2012-A8, 2010-B140), and had requested a legislated ban on bulk crude oil tank traffic through Dixon Entrance, Hectate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound (2010-B139). However, if energy is transported in the province, UBCM’s membership has requested:

  • an oversight organization that is provincially led, and industry funded;
  • a BC based contingency fund that is 100% industry funded;
  • 100% cost recovery for local governments who have expended their own resources to clean up spills;
  • response plans for high risk areas;
  • an increase in emergency response staff;
  • additional training for local emergency responders;
  • industry funded wildlife and ecosystem restoration; and
  • regional planning authority to oversee spill response.

These policy positions are based on previously endorsed resolutions by the membership including resolutions 2012-B122, 2007-B173, 2008-B32, and 2010- B87. Resolution details are available in UBCM’s online resolutions database.

During the conference Ministry of Environment staff advised that the Province will be conducting a jurisdictional scan to ensure that their regime is ‘world-leading’. The scan will include Washington and Alaska, as well as a number of other states and countries that have spill preparedness and prevention plans.

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