Ministry of Environment’s review of Land Based Spill Preparedness and Response in British Columbia
The Province of British Columbia (BC) is committed to a world leading preparedness and response regime for land based spills, as expressed most recently in BC’s five conditions necessary for support of heavy oil projects. In keeping with the established polluter-pay principle, and recognizing the increase in development activities across the province, the Ministry of Environment (the ministry) is reviewing industry funded options for strengthening BC’s spill preparedness and response policies and capacity. Land based spill refers to any spill impacting the terrestrial environment, including coastal shorelines, regardless of the source.
This review addresses three aspects of land based spill preparedness and response:
- World leading regime for land based spill preparedness and response
- Effective and efficient rules for restoration of the environment following a spill
- Effective government oversight and coordination of industry spill response
The ministry has developed a policy intentions paper for consultation (intentions paper) on the three aspects of the province’s land based spill preparedness and response regime under consideration. The purpose of this intentions paper is to describe the ministry’s proposed policy direction and seek input on enhancing spill preparedness and response in BC.
The public consultation period on the Intentions Paper closed on Feb. 15, 2013. Comments received during the consultation have been reviewed and an Intentions Paper feedback summary is available. The ministry is now reviewing the responses in more detail to determine next steps towards the establishment of a world leading preparedness and response regime. Some of the issues raised will be discussed at the upcoming Symposium for Land Based Spill Preparedness and Response in B.C.
As part of British Columbia’s commitment to a world leading preparedness and response regime for land based spills, it is hosting a symposium March 25-27, 2013 in Vancouver, BC. Due to the anticipated high interest in the symposium, attendance is by invitation only.