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Oil Spill and Shipping Advocacy

The Islands Trust Council has been advocating to senior governments about oil spill and oil tanker issues since 1979. An oil spill within the Islands Trust Area could have devastating impacts on the abundant biodiversity of the region and could significantly affect species already at risk, as well harm the liveability and economic well-being of local communities.

Recent advocacy

Click here for advocacy opposing oil tankers in the Islands Trust Area.

On October 27, 2016, the Chair wrote to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to comment on the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project.

On September 30, 2016, the Chair wrote to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project (TMX) Ministerial Panel re Islands Trust Council comments on the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project.

In September 2016, the Union of BC Municipalities endorsed the Islands Trust resolution asking Transport Canada to assess the cumulative impacts of the projected increased vessel traffic in the Salish Sea and develop a 20-year mitigation plan.

On January 22, 2016, the Islands Trust Chair wrote to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change re concerns with evaluation of marine shipping during environmental assessments and suggestions for improving public participation.

In July, 2014, the Islands Trust Chair wrote to the BC Environmental Assessment Office requesting more studies into the proposed Woodfibre LNG project.

In July, 2014, the Islands Trust Chair wrote to the BC Minister of Environment with input on the Policy Intentions Paper on Land-based Spill Preparedness and Response.

In March 2014, the Islands Trust Chair wrote to Transport Canada's Tanker Safety Expert Panel to express concerns about the lack of hazardous material response capability for a vessel-based incident. (Response)

In December 2013, the Islands Trust Chair wrote a letter to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to request that Port Metro Vancouver be  required to study how the increased marine traffic that would result from the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project would impact the ecosystems, species, and communities of the Salish Sea, including an oil spill risk assessment. On January 7, 2014 the Minister of the Environment and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency announced the referral of the project to an independent review panel for environmental assessment.

In 2013, the Chair also provided a written submission as well a a letter co-signed by San Juan County's Chair to Transport Canada's Tanker Safety Expert Panel. The Chair also sent a letter to the BC Minister of Environment expressing support for potential improvements to the provincial spill preparedness and response regime. (Response)

In 2012, the Islands Trust Executive Committee submitted to the Union of BC Municipalities a resolution about the need for industry funding for BC oil spill prevention, preparedness and response with a three page backgrounder. The resolution was not selected for debate but the Island Trust amended a successful resolution by the City of Prince Rupert to include our key message.

In 2011, the Chair sent a letter to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities request requesting that the Islands Trust Area be considered a priority for a pilot project about Geographic Response Plans for oil spills. (Response)  The Chair also wrote a letter to the Minister expressing concern about the lack of knowledge about the behaviour and impact of diluted bitumen and other unconventional oils in marine waters and requesting Transport Canada's plan for studying this topic. (Response)

In 2010, the Executive Committee members discussed oil spill issues with the BC Minister of Environment. The Chair followed-up with a letter outlining the need for additional provincial resources for oil spill planning and response. (Response)

In early 2011, the Executive Committee met with the BC Minister of Environment, and provided him with the Executive Summary of the Living Oceans Society's Major Marine Vessel Casualty Risk and Response Preparedness in British Columbia 2008 report. [PDF-22MB]

In 2010, San Juan County and the Islands Trust sent a joint letter to Canadian and US federal governments requesting a cross border cooperative review of maritime safety standards. (Response)

Islands Trust advocacy about oil spill prevention and response is supported by the Islands Trust Policy Statement policy 3.1.9 and the Islands Trust Council's 2014-2018 Strategic Plan which includes the strategy "Advocate for protection of the Salish Sea and Howe Sound from oil spills, derelict vessels and industrial activities."     

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Page last updated: 30/03/17
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