Dangerous goods spills in B.C. waters are not uncommon. Although the recent spill in Vancouver’s English Bay is serious – it’s estimated that around 2,800 litres of oil were in the water – there were on average 2.6 spills every day in B.C.’s ocean last year.
According to statistics from Emergency Management B.C., there were 932 spills of dangerous goods into B.C. ocean waters in the 2014-15 fiscal year. This was the highest number in 15 years – the average over that time has been 845 per year.
According to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act, anyone who spills a polluting substance must immediately inform the authorities as soon as they’re aware of the spill. A polluting substance is defined loosely in that legislation as anything that could cause pollution if it spilled, though a regulation provides some examples: things like explosives, flammable materials, toxic, infectious, corrosive or…
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