English Bay Oil Spill a Reminder of Potential “Nightmare Scenario”
Vancouver, The coast guard’s emergency response team was dispatched at approximately 5 p.m. to English Bay where a grain ship anchored in deep water is reported to have spilled toxic bunker fuel. The clean-up operation is under way and attempts are being made to contain the spill. Little is known about what caused the spill or how big it is at this time. Area residents have noted a putrid rotten egg scent wafting as far as Jericho Beach.
“This is a scary reminder of the potential nightmare scenario of what could happen if there’s increased tanker traffic along our coast,” said Ben West, Executive Director of Tanker Free BC. “Hopefully this incident can be contained, although its not good news that oil is showing up at Sunset Beach” said West.
Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline and tanker project would see an increase from the current 80 tankers a year to over 400 tankers a year carrying primarily tar sands bitumen which is more likely to sink in the marine environment potentially causing significant harm.
“It may actually be lucky that this is only bunker fuel and not bitumen. If this were a spill of tar sands oil and this much time had passed without it being contained it likely would be game over for any kind of clean up,” said West.