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Proposed $200 million upgrade to Oil Spill Response Capability in British Columbia


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September 22, 2016 by John Nicholson

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) recently announced it would invest $200 million to upgrade its oil response capabilities if the proposed $5.4 billion (Cdn.)  Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is approved.  WCMRC is responsible for cleaning up oil spills along the south coast of British Columbia and currently has a fleet of 17 vessels.

“The idea is we’d be able to bring our vessels together in a centralized location, and that’s really going to allow us to really reduce response time,” said WCMRC communications manager Michael Lowry in an interview with the CBC.

According to Mr. Lowry, WCMRC’s annual operating costs, funded by the oil and shipping industries, are currently $9-10 million.  After the improvements, the annual cost would run $50-60 million.  Also, the investment in oil response capabilities would add 115 employees and 26 new oil clean-up vessels.

WCMRC is planning the expansion of oil response capabilities based on Kinder Morgan getting approval to expand its existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline.  The improvements will reduce spill response time in Vancouver’s harbour from six hours to two hours and vastly improve the speed at which clean-up occurs.

WCMRC

WCMRC Vessel and Michael Lowry (Photo Credit: Rafferty Baker/CBC)

WCMRC Vessel and Michael Lowry (Photo Credit: Rafferty Baker/CBC)


John Nicholson

John Nicholson

John is a cleantech and environmental expert with over 25 years of experience. He is a registered professional engineer and has a Masters degree in environmental engineering.
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2 Comments » for Proposed $200 million upgrade to Oil Spill Response Capability in British Columbia
  1. Norman Gibson says:

    Large oil spills from huge oil tankers would devastate the Vancouver/Gulf Islands/Victoria area: The biggest concern of Canadians with regard to exporting Alberta oil through the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project is about the Canadian economy and jobs for Alberta, without any consideration about the damage large oil spills from huge oil tankers would do to the Vancouver/Gulf Islands/Victoria area. Major spills from oil tankers would devastate the beaches and the ocean. In addition to damaging the region’s natural ecology and exquisite beauty, major oil spills would harm the quality of life for the people living in the most populated area of British Columbia as well as the area’s vital tourist industry. The only sure and safe way to avoid huge oil tanker spills in the Vancouver/Gulf Islands/Victoria area is for the federal government to not allow the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project to proceed.

  2. Norman Gibson says:

    Large oil spills from huge oil tankers would devastate the Vancouver/Gulf Islands/Victoria area. The biggest concern of Canadians with regard to exporting Alberta oil through the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project is about the Canadian economy and jobs for Alberta, without any consideration about the damage large oil spills from huge oil tankers would do to the Vancouver/Gulf Islands/Victoria area. Major spills from oil tankers would devastate the beaches and the ocean. In addition to damaging the region’s natural ecology and exquisite beauty, major oil spills would harm the quality of life for the people living in the most populated area of British Columbia as well as the area’s vital tourist industry. The only sure and safe way to avoid huge oil tanker spills in the Vancouver/Gulf Islands/Victoria area is for the federal government to not allow the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project to proceed.

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