Phase Two Engagement on Spill Management

On February 28, 2018 the ministry released the Policy Intentions Paper for Engagement: Phase two enhancements to spill management in B.C. (PDF). This paper served as the basis for engagement the Province is pursuing throughout 2018 on the four policy topics. 

The four policy topics being explored for phase two are:

  • 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.

Timeline 

Engagement summary and timeline
Month Activity
2018

January

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

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

September

The following summary reports are tentatively scheduled for release on this website:

  • Summary of Public Comments on policy intentions paper
  • Summary of Organizations Comments on policy intentions paper
  • Summary of First Nations Workshops Comments
  • Summary of Technical Working Groups Comments

October

Policy update tentatively scheduled for release outlining the ministry’s recommended direction on phase two policy topics based on 2018 engagement and research activities

December

Comment period for policy update tentatively scheduled to conclude

2019

January

Summary of comments on policy update tentatively scheduled for released