Ottawa releases new oil spill regulations

Natural Resources Minister, Greg Rickford says taxpayers should in no way be on the hook to pay for an oil spill cleanup, and under the new rules, the pipeline companies will have absolute liability.

Rickford was questioned about the timing of the announcement, given that the federal government is said to be just weeks away from announcing its’ decision on the contentious Northern Gateway Pipeline project.

“This is not tied to a specific project,” Rickford said. “I think it’s fair to say that there are a number of projects across the country at any point in the process. This is about a world class pipeline and tanker system.”

Rickford went on to refer to a government announcement earlier this week that marine safety regulations around oil spills has also be tightened and will now include a $400 million compensation ceiling, rather than $160 million.

Provincial Transportation Minister Todd Stone left little doubt where the BC government stands on the announcements.

“In our opinion, very good steps in the right direction in terms of developing world class spill ‘prepareness’, response and recovery guidelines,” Stone said.