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Tanker Safety Expert Panel finalizes all-encompassing review of Canada’s spill response regime - Subscriber Access Only

By BCShippingNews 24 June 2015

Upon review of the Phase II report of the Tanker Safety Expert Panel — Requirements for the Arctic and for Hazardous and Noxious Substances Nationally — one might come to the following conclusions. First, there’s not much missing. The three-man panel consisting of Captain Gordon Houston, Mr. Richard Gaudreau and Dr. Michael Sinclair, has drafted an all-encompassing, comprehensive review of prevention, preparedness and response requirements for ship-source spills in the Canadian Arctic and of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) in Canadian waters. They are to be complimented on an outstanding job. The second conclusion is that, for the most part, Canada is starting with a near blank slate in developing programs and policies that would address both areas of focus.

Photo above: Left to right: Captain Gordon Houston, Dr. Michael Sinclair and Richard Gaudreau.

One additional observation: With an overall price tag for Phase I implementation estimated to be in excess of $100 million, Phase II would be significantly higher. Significantly. When BC Shipping News met with Captain Houston to gain insight into the efforts of the Panel, he did not hazard a guess as to the cost but noted that “you’re basically starting from scratch so yes, much higher.” He softened the remark by adding that recommendations for the Arctic could be spread over a number of years in tandem with the increase in commercial activities.

Follow up to Phase I