TIN news: The Government of Canada introduced C-48, the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act in Parliament, to formalize a crude oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia’s north coast.
This legislation is expected to prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations in northern British Columbia, providing a high level of protection for the coastline around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound.
The proposed moratorium area extends from the Canada/United States border in the north, down to the point on British Columbia’s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and also includes Haida Gwaii. Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude or persistent oil as cargo will continue to be permitted in the moratorium area, to ensure northern communities can receive critical shipments of heating oils and other products.
The legislation proposes strong penalty provisions for contravention that could reach up to $5 million and proposes flexibility for amendments. Further refined petroleum products can be removed from the list on the basis of science and environmental safety. Products may also be added on this basis.
The proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium Act is an action that the Government of Canada is taking as part of the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). The OPP is a national strategy to create a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting coastline.
The proposed legislation applies to the shipment of crude oils defined by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. It also applies to related oil products that are heavier and, when spilled, break up and dissipate slowly.