Friday, April 10, 2015

Vancouver Mayor rips Ottawa over oil spill

‎Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is accusing Ottawa and the province of a “totally inadequate” response to a toxic fuel leak in English Bay, which left an oily sheen across a large swath of ocean water, prompted public health warnings and raised fresh questions about whether the federal government is adequately prepared to respond to marine spills.

The coast guard said about 2,700 litres of oil spilled into the bay, which sits just west of the city’s downtown, after an anchored bulk carrier named the MV Marathassa began leaking bunker fuel. The ship was on its maiden voyage and was in Vancouver to pick up grain.
Mr. Robertson said he wanted to know why it took six hours to deploy booms to deal with the spill and 13 hours to notify the City of Vancouver. He also complained of a lack of details about what spilled.

Mr. Robertson said he had questions about the federal ability to respond in light of cuts including the closure of the Kitsilano coast guard base, which generated immense controversy when it closed two years ago.
The Vancouver Park Board said city staff were patrolling English Bay and two beaches in Stanley Park, telling people to avoid the water until the health and ecological implications are clear.
Yvette Myers of Transport Canada said there appeared to be a malfunction in the MV Marathassa, which was built in Japan and came out of the shipyard in February.
The fuel spread over water and land in a purple-blue sheen and has prompted safety warnings from the city telling people to avoid downtown beaches and not to touch the fuel.