Engagement on Spill Management

On February 28, 2018, the B.C. government released the Policy Intentions Paper for Engagement: Phase two enhancements to spill management in B.C. (PDF). This paper served as the basis of an engagement the Province conducted throughout 2018.

Four policy topics were explored for phase two regulations:

  • Prescribing response times to ensure timely responses following a spill;
  • Developing geographic response plans (GRPs) to ensure resources are available to support an immediate response one that takes into account the unique characteristics of specific or particularly sensitive areas;
  • Addressing loss of public and cultural use from spills including economic, cultural, and recreational impacts and community response costs to ensure communities are compensated for negative impacts from spills (e.g., compensation to a community and/or Indigenous community when food gathering access is limited following a spill); and
  • Maximizing the marine application of the Province’s environmental emergency regulatory powers within B.C.’s jurisdiction. The intent is to ensure a consistent and high standard of protection in both marine and terrestrial settings.

Engagement Summary

The public, Indigenous peoples, other governments, industry and associations, environmental organizations and interested stakeholders were invited to provide feedback via questionnaires, written comments, and formal organization submissions between February 28, 2018 and April 30, 2018. During this 60-day commenting period approximately:

  • 43,000 visits were made to the phase 2 engagement site,
  • 5,000 comments were received from British Columbians via an online survey,
  • 13,000 comments were received via email; and
  • 30 submissions were received from organizations, including First Nations, other governments, environmental groups and industry.

Between March and May 2018, the B.C. government worked with the First Nations Fisheries Council to organize seven regional workshops with Indigenous peoples from across British Columbia to discuss the intentions paper and other issues related to spill management. In total, 59 participants attended these workshops from 32 different First Nations.

Starting in April 2018, the B.C. government also established four technical working groups with Indigenous peoples, other governments, industry and associations, environmental organizations and interested stakeholders to discuss the policy topics in detail.

Government staff have also met with organizations individually to discuss the policy topics presented at workshops and conferences as requested.

Feedback from the various engagements has been summarized in four What We Heard reports: 

Timeline 

Engagement summary and timeline
Month Activity
2019
Summer The four What We Heard reports were released (see links above)
2018

January

Government news release: Additional measures being developed to protect B.C.'s environment from spills.

February

Government news release: Public comment invited on proposed B.C. spill regulations

60-day comment period launched for Policy Intentions Paper for Engagement: Phase two enhancements to spill management in British Columbia (PDF)

March

First Nation engagement workshop in Kamloops

April

Technical working groups launched for each of the four policy topics with teleconference calls (conference calls then held bi-weekly hereafter)

First Nation engagement workshops in Nanaimo, Terrace, Richmond, and Prince George

Comment period concludes for the policy intentions paper 

May

First Nation engagement workshops in Fort St. John and Bella Bella

Face-to-face technical working group meetings held in Vancouver

July

Face-to-face technical working group meetings held in Richmond