GSA reacts to fuel oil spill in English Bay

VANCOUVER – Emergency crews are responding this morning to a spill of toxic heavy bunker fuel in Burrard Inlet, and reports are coming in of an oily sheen washing ashore on the beach in English Bay.

Reacting to the accident, Georgia Strait Alliance’s Executive Director, Christianne Wilhelmson, said:

“With a toxic substance like heavy bunker fuel, even a relatively small spill can be highly damaging to marine life. Today’s accident is a grim reminder of the environmental risks we face from existing shipping traffic in our waters, and raises questions about how prepared we are to deal with spills, and who will bear the costs of clean-up.

We are now over 12 hours in to the incident, and some basic facts remain unknown. How much fuel was spilled? Who is the responsible party? If this accident had happened in a more remote part of the Georgia Strait, how long would it take for response crews to arrive, and would local authorities be adequately prepared to cope in the meantime?

We need stronger spill response to deal with the threat we already face, and we need to minimize future risks by saying no to projects like Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion that would dramatically increase tanker traffic in our waters.”

Georgia Strait Alliance is a BC citizen’s group working to protect and restore the marine environment and promote the sustainability of Georgia Strait, and is currently campaigning to strengthen coastal community oil spill response capacity, and raise awareness about the threat posed by Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion.


For more information please contact:
Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director
Georgia Strait Alliance
(604) 862-7579