Past spill response engagement materials

Engagement with industry, local governments, First Nations, other regulatory agencies and non-government organizations will occur to varying degrees throughout the development of the Regime. Summaries are provided below, with the most recent activities listed first.

2017 Policy update

This policy paper will be used to build regulations for the Land-Base Spill Preparedness and Response Regime due to be introduced this spring. If you have any comments please direct them to

Technical working groups

It is the ministry’s intention to complete select regulations in early 2017; other regulations will take longer to develop. Public input on the third Intentions Paper will inform the regulation development, including the following input from three technical working groups that met between July and September 2016: 

Stakeholder discussion papers

Throughout the legislative and regulatory change process, some participants are proposing their own solutions and recommendations to government staff for consideration. Formal proposals and ministry responses are provided below.

Several industry groups generated a proposal for how a Preparedness and Response Organization (PRO) would best help them meet their new legal obligations as Regulated Persons. In response, the Province provided two documents to clarify their legislative intent.

2016 First Nations engagement

In early May 2016, the B.C. First Nations Fisheries Council, contracted by the Province, hosted six regional workshops for First Nations to present information and start discussions regarding the improvements and legislative changes being made to the B.C. spill response regime. These workshops were not considered Crown consultation for any specific project.

A seventh First Nations engagement workshop on the B.C. spill response regime was held in Vancouver in June 2016 and led by the Coastal First Nations - Great Bear Initiative on behalf of the Province.

2016 Land-based spill preparedness and response symposium

This two-day symposium held in Richmond on April 20 and 21, 2016 was designed to gather feedback on the new legislation summarized in the third Intentions Paper, to seek input on the development of new regulations and to identify participants for technical working groups.

Third intentions paper

The B.C. government released a third intentions paper in April 2016. With this release, a five-phase public engagement process commenced gathering public input on the paper during a two-day Symposium, through seven regional First Nations workshops, with Technical Working Groups and via an online public discussion site. Materials specific to each phase of the public engagement are included on this webpage and a final summary of all the phases is provided below.

Second intentions paper

The B.C. government released a second intentions paper outlining specific changes being considered. The list includes strengthening the role of local governments and First Nations in spill response, increasing the technical spill response for companies operating in B.C. and creating a preparedness and response organization.

The summary document was prepared for the Ministry of Environment by a third-party contractor and released below, with the permission granted from those who made submissions.

2013 Land-based spill preparedness and response symposium

The Province hosted the BC Land-Based Spill Preparedness and Response Symposium in March 2013, which delivered presentations and feedback from discussion groups that explored the topic areas through facilitated discussion groups.


First intentions paper

In 2012, the Province also released a first intention paper. Comments on the first intention paper were provided in the following ways: research reports; three technical working groups; an advisory committee; and input received during ministry presentations to conferences, local governments, First Nations and environmental organizations.

Studies and reports

Nuka Research October 2015 publication prepared for the Province titled Marine Oil Spill Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery - World-leading Approaches from Selected Jurisdictions (PDF, 10.24MB) The purpose of this report is to provide the B.C. government with examples of specific laws, regulations, policies and practices in place across the globe that stand out among world-class approaches to oil spill prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.

The West Coast Spill Response Study, prepared for the Province by Nuka Research, provides key elements for a world-class system that includes spill prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. The study consists of three volumes:

  • Volume 1 (PDF, MB) – An initial assessment and gap analysis of the existing marine spill prevention and response regime in place for B.C.
  • Volume 2 (PDF, 6MB) – A vessel traffic study assessing the current and potential levels of shipping on the west coast of Canada, and the current volume of hydrocarbons being shipped or used as fuel.
  • Volume 3 (PDF, 5MB) – An analysis to identify international best practices and elements required for establishing a world-class marine spill preparedness and response regime, which is one of B.C.'s five conditions for considering heavy oil transport.

In 2012, the B.C. government released the Technical Analysis, Requirements for B.C. to Consider Support for Heavy Oil which listed five conditions, including:

  • World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.’s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines and shipments;
  • World-leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines.

Though marine oil spill response falls under federal jurisdiction, the Regime will be developed in collaboration with all related regulatory agencies to ensure effectiveness and to avoid any unnecessary duplication.