NEWS RELEASE · 28th January 2010
BC Environment Watch
Another tanker grounding in Alaska points to the need to formalize the restrictions on tanker traffic in North Coastal waters, says North Coast MLA Gary Coons.
On Sunday, January 17, two escort tugs were called to rescue an 832-foot oil tanker in Prince William Sound. The vessel was laden with over 25 million gallons of crude oil, when it lost power and the ability to steer.
Though there was no recorded spill from Sunday’s incident, Coons is reiterating his call for a formally legislated ban on laden tanker traffic along BC’s coast line.
“Without a formal ban proposed pipeline projects will bring laden vessels into and through some of BC’s most pristine and unpredictable waterways.” Coons is also not comforted by claims that tug escorts will prevent groundings and subsequent spills. “Tug boats are susceptible to accidents too.”
Coons is referring to the December 23 grounding of a ship escort response vessel on the very same reef that grounded the ill-fated Exxon Valdez in 1989. According to reports, two of the fuel tanks were damaged aboard the 136-foot tug, resulting in a diesel spill 3 miles long and 30 yards wide.
“I remain convinced that the only way to prevent tanker oil spills from occurring in the North Coast,” Coons says, “is to prevent tanker traffic in the North Coast.”
To the Editor
Comment by Leon Dumstrey -SooS on 3rd February 2010
Mr. Coon Should also insist that Prince Rupert Port: Coal , Container,Cruise Ship, Fishing Fleet and other Sea vessels facilities be closed down as well,because they may contain more or less or equal amount of Oil Products as perhaps any OIL TANKER!