The provincial government is seeking input from British Columbians on its next steps to defend B.C.’s land, coast and waters from oil spills.
In moving forward with its second phase of regulations to improve overall spill readiness, the Province is looking for feedback in four policy areas:
- Response times, which ensure timely responses following a spill;
- Geographic response plans, which ensure resources are available to support an immediate response, which consider the unique characteristics of a given sensitive area;
- Compensation for loss of public use from spills, including economic, cultural and recreational impacts; and
- Maximizing application of regulations to marine spills.
The public is invited to provide input on the four policy areas online by completing a questionnaire during the consultation process, which will run from Feb. 28 to April 30, 2018. Information and the feedback form can be found here.
To make sure views from around the province are heard, engagement with Indigenous peoples, industry, local governments and environmental groups will take place over the coming several months, and will commence immediately.
Once the engagement period closes, ministry staff will analyze all feedback and summarize it in a report to be posted online. The feedback will be considered as part of final recommendations for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, expected later in 2018 or early 2019.
As part of ongoing efforts to understand if and how heavy oils can be safely transported and cleaned up, if spilled, an independent scientific advisory panel will be established at a later date.
The first phase of the regulations, approved in October 2017, established a standard of spill preparedness, response and recovery necessary to protect B.C.’s environment. With some exceptions for B.C. oil and gas regulated entities, the Phase 1 regulations apply to pipelines transporting any quantity of liquid petroleum products, and rail or trucking operations transporting more than 10,000 litres of liquid petroleum products.
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