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Release of Clear Seas’ Report: Leading Systems for Oil Spill Response in Ports – Implications for Canada


Clear Seas requested a study of governance systems and practices for oil spill response in leading ports of other countries to identify possible options for improvement of the regimes in Canadian ports.

full report available

Led by Dr. Trevor Heaver, Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia Centre for Transportation Studies, this research examines spill response policies and practices in seven ports in five countries including Seattle, Los Angeles and Houston in the U.S., and Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg in Europe.

The examination of international oil spill response systems provides insights into what should be considered as Canada continues to pursue improvements to the spill response system. Although this report draws primarily on recent Pacific coast experience, the issues that it highlights are relevant to all Canadian ports, recognizing that local conditions require tailored solutions – a point which is highlighted repeatedly herein.

It should be underscored that this report identifies issues that ought to be considered in an effort to improve Canada’s readiness to respond effectively to spills. It does not propose definitive solutions, but rather, it identifies possible areas for improvement and suggests potential solutions.

The “implications” contained in the report offer avenues for consideration which require more detailed development and analysis in order to support policy decisions. Finally, it is recognized that several of the implications are already in the process of being implemented by the Canadian Coast Guard and other entities.

View the Report

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