Independent panel releases recommendations for improving Canada's system for ship-source oil spill preparedness; panel to examine national requirements for ship-source spills of hazardous and noxious substances starting in 2014

OTTAWA , December 4, 2013 (press release) – The Tanker Safety Expert Panel, an independent panel appointed to review Canada’s current tanker safety system and to propose measures to strengthen it, today released its report, “A Review of Canada’s Ship-Source Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime—Setting the Course for the Future.” The report aims to improve Canada’s system for ship-source oil spill preparedness and response in order to better protect the public and the environment.

“I want to thank the panel for its detailed, thoughtful work, and the invaluable expertise they have brought to this critical issue,” said The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport. “I look forward to studying the report, speaking with stakeholders about their views, and discussing it with my cabinet colleagues. The government will take all necessary actions to prevent oil spills, clean them up should they happen, and ensure that polluters pay.”

“Marine shipping contributes importantly to Canadian economic growth, jobs and long-term prosperity,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “The Tanker Safety report commissioned by our government provides independent, objective recommendations that will support our goal of world-class maritime safety.”

The independent panel consulted with pan-Canadian industry stakeholders, spill response organizations, owners and operators of oil handling facilities, vessel owners and operators, ports, industry associations, as well as Aboriginal organizations, federal and provincial governments, and US officials. It also solicited written submissions from the public via its website.

The panel’s full report, A Review of Canada’s Ship-Source Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime—Setting the Course for the Future, can be viewed at: www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tankersafetyexpertpanel/menu.htm.

The panel will begin working on its second report early in 2014, examining national requirements for ship-source spills of hazardous and noxious substances, including liquefied natural gas, as well as the state of oil spill preparedness and response in the Arctic.

For more information on oil tanker safety, please visit: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/menu-4100.htm

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