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B.C. government announces first phase of spill response regulations

File photo. The B.C. government has released phase one of environmental regulations regarding fuel transportation.
File photo. The B.C. government has released phase one of environmental regulations regarding fuel transportation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Coast Guard

It’s been almost a year since the Nathan E. Stewart ran aground off the coast of Bella Bella, and spilled more than 100,000 litres of diesel.

On Friday, the B.C. government announced new spill response regulations, which Environment Minister George Heyman called phase one of a larger response.

WATCH: First Nation releases report on Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

He says the new regulations apply to transporters of liquid petroleum products, including rail and trucking operations, which move more than 10,000 litres.

“The spillers — and the people who originate the shipment — will have a responsibility for full compensation of the cost of clean-up and recovery in the case of a spill,” says Heyman.

He says they will have to begin the process of developing contingency plans, testing, and reporting requirements outlined in the Environmental Management act.

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“They will have to have provisions for drills and exercises conducted in three-year cycles. There are requirements for record-keeping for spill preparedness and response, and there’s greater transparency overall for the public.”

The new regulations were developed alongside local communities, First Nations, industry and federal and provincial agencies.