Report on environmental response to Vancouver oil spill set to be released

Source: The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – A report reviewing the coast guard’s environmental response to a fuel spill in Vancouver’s English Bay that soiled several beaches is expected to be released Friday.

The independent review was commissioned by the Canadian Coast Guard after a malfunction on the grain carrier MV Marathassa caused about 2,700 litres of bunker fuel to spill into bay on April 8.

The review is expected to contain recommendations for how future marine spills could be handled differently.

Premier Christy Clark and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson criticized the coast guard’s response, with Robertson questioning why the city was not alerted until 13 hours after the spill was discovered.

Officials from the Canadian Coast Guard are expected to speak to reporters after the report is released.

Scientists have conclusively linked oil that washed up along numerous Vancouver beaches with fuel from the ship and say that the high level of hydrocarbons could harm animals and sea life in the area.