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Marine Spill Response Enhancements Moving Forward

by pnationtalk on September 11, 201981 Views

Sep. 11, 2019

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) is resuming implementation of the Enhanced Response Regime described in our Project Application and included as part of CER Condition 133. This spill response enhancement program will see $150 million invested in new equipment and new response bases in the Salish Sea.

The move triggers British Columbia’s largest-ever expansion of spill response personnel and equipment on the South Coast as part of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. These enhancements will double response capacity while significantly reducing delivery time compared to existing planning standards.

Although the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is facilitating the entire funding, the new WCMRC personnel, vessels and equipment will be available for any spill incident along the BC southern marine shipping route, further improving safety for the entire shipping industry, as well as residential, commercial and other users who traverse and enjoy the waters off the coast.

WCMRC has completed extensive work on the program. However, its implementation was put on hold as a result of the August 2018 federal court ruling that nullified the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

On June 18, 2019, the Government of Canada approved the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 156 conditions and directed the Canada Energy Regulator (formerly known as the National Energy Board) to issue the CPCN, allowing the Project and these enhancements to proceed.

Here are details about the new base locations, equipment and personnel:

  • 43 new response vessels, doubling the current WCMRC fleet to 88 vessels.
  • Eight new spill response bases in the South Coast of British Columbia. The proposed bases would include 24/7 on-water bases in Vancouver Harbour and North Saanich.
  • Approximately 120 new employees, most of who would be assigned to new bases on Vancouver Island.
  • The operating infrastructure and plans to integrate the enhancements into a functional response system.

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