Canadian Ministry of Transport is launching the Area Response Planning pilot project to improve ship-source oil spill preparedness and response within local communities, Aboriginal groups, the shipping industry, and all levels of government.
Area Response Planning is one of the Government of Canada’s measures under the World-Class Tanker Safety System and is tailored to a particular geographic area, in collaboration.
The pilot areas include the southern portion of British Columbia, including Vancouver harbour; Saint John and the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; Port Hawkesbury and the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia; and St. Lawrence River (Montreal to Anticosti Island), Quebec.
“Our government’s goals with world-class tanker safety are to prevent ship-source oil spills, clean them up quickly if they do happen and to ensure that polluters pay,” said Canada’s Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt.
”As a part of our tanker safety measures, the Area Response Planning process will help ensure procedures are in place and equipment is readily available to plan for any scenario in specific areas.”
In concert with this initiative, Transport Canada’s Community Participation Funding Program will support the participation of local communities and Aboriginal groups in the pilot project. The program will provide up to CAD 2.1 million starting in fall 2015 and ending in 2017 to eligible recipients.
Eligible applicants to Transport Canada’s Community Participation Funding Program are Aboriginal groups, local groups and organizations, municipalities with a population of less than 10,000, and non-profit organizations.
Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada are working together on the Area Response Planning Initiative.
The ministry also highlighted a CAD 3.7 million investment to help establish the Clear Seas: Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, which will support research and provide independent information on best practices for the safe and environmentally responsible marine shipping of Canada’s oil and LNG resources to overseas markets.