GSA reacts to revelations that an oil spill could overwhelm BC’s capacity to respond

August 26, 2013

VANCOUVER – Commenting on documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws revealing that BC Ministry of Environment officials have warned that the province lacks the ability to manage oil spills from existing and future oil traffic, Alexandra Woodsworth, Energy and Shipping Campaigner at Georgia Strait Alliance, said:

“This is the latest in a long line of warnings that we are woefully under prepared to deal with an oil spill off the BC coast. If the province’s resources could be overwhelmed by a medium sized spill from one of the vessels already plying our waters, what could happen with a sixfold increase in tankers carrying toxic diluted bitumen? We need to plug the gaps in our current response capacity before even considering proposals like Kinder Morgan’s that would dramatically raise the threat to the BC coast.”

She continued: “Rhetoric from the federal government about creating a world-class spill response system sounds pretty hollow when they’re closing local response offices and oil spill research centres.”

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 raise awareness about the threat posed by Kinder Morgan’s plan to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The revelations were made in briefing documents obtained by the Canadian Press under Freedom of Information laws. For more information see press reports such as the Globe and Mail.

For more information please contact:

Alexandra Woodsworth, Energy and Shipping Campaigner, Georgia Strait Alliance