Environmental Response

Description:

  • The Canadian Marine Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime was established in 1995 and built on a government/industry partnership.  Under the regime, tankers of 150 tons gross tonnage and greater and vessels of 400 tons gross tonnage and greater, as well as Oil Handling Facilities (OHF), must have an arrangement with a Transport Canada (TC) certified Response Organization (RO).
  • TC is the lead regulatory/governance agency for all ship-source spills and the overall response regime. The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is the lead federal response agency responsible for ensuring an appropriate response to all ship-source and mystery source pollution incidents in waters under Canadian jurisdiction.
  • When the polluter has been identified and is willing and able to respond, the CCG will advise the polluter of its responsibilities under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, and assume the role of Federal Monitoring Officer (FMO) when CCG is satisfied with the polluter’s intentions and plans.  However, in cases where the polluter is unknown, unwilling or unable to respond, the CCG will assume the overall management of the incident as On-Scene Commander (OSC). In all cases, CCG Environmental Response will ensure an appropriate response.
  • Under the Marine Liability Act, the CCG would recover the costs and expenses incurred as on-site commander or Federal Monitoring Officer, from the owner of the ship responsible for the pollution, the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund or the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund.

Objectives:

  • To minimize the environmental, economic and public safety impacts of marine pollution incidents

Services:

  • Provide a preparedness capacity for response to ship-source marine pollution incidents
  • Response to reported cases of marine pollution

Note:

The CCG does not: respond as lead agency to non-ship source spills, such as land based spills; prosecute polluters; or receive or remove wrecks, unless it is the best course of action to remove the pollution threat.

Service: Provide a preparedness capacity for response to ship-source marine pollution incidents

Service

  • Develop and maintain marine pollution response plans including plans with countries sharing contiguous waters with Canada
  • Provide competent and qualified personnel for appointment by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to the role of Pollution Response Officer
  • Provide qualified environmental response personnel and pollution countermeasures equipment

Service Standard

  • A National Response Plan is updated every 5 years
  • Regional chapters of the National Response Plan are maintained in all five CCG regions
  • A 24/7 CCG Environmental Response Duty Officer is available in each region

Service: Response to reported cases of marine pollution

Service

  • Ensure an appropriate response to threats and incidents of ship-source marine pollution in waters under Canadian jurisdiction
  • Where the polluter is identified, CCG ER will advise the polluter of its responsibilities under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and once the polluter’s intentions/plans are known and an On-scene Commander (OSC) is appointed by the polluter, the CCG will assume the role of Federal Monitoring Officer.
  • In the event that the polluter is unknown, unwilling or unable to respond, the CCG will assume the role of OSC.

Note:

  • A response may involve:
    • Assessment of a reported case in order to determine further course of action, and may include:
      • Verification of the incident;
      • Determining the polluter’s intentions;
      • Obtaining initial incident data;
      • Making a recommendation for mobilisation of CCG resources.
    • Monitoring a polluter-led response
    • Deployment of CCG pollution countermeasures equipment

Service Standard

  • An assessment of all reported cases of marine pollution will be initiated upon notification of the CCG Environmental Response Duty Officer.
  • If required, CCG resources will be mobilised within 6 hours of completion of the assessment. Arrival time on-scene will vary.