B.C. seeks lessons from Quebec disaster

B.C. will incorporate lessons from the Lac Megantic rail disaster in its own effort to improve oil spill protection

B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak

VICTORIA – The B.C. government will incorporate lessons from the Lac Megantic rail disaster in its own effort to develop “world class” land-based oil spill protection, Environment Minister Mary Polak says.

Polak said Monday that while rail traffic is regulated by the federal government, the province’s target for proposed oil pipeline safety have led to discussion with Ottawa and railway operators.

The runaway train that destroyed part of Lac Megantic, Quebec in a huge explosion and fire Saturday night was carrying light crude from shale oil deposits in North Dakota to a refinery in New Brunswick. The oil industry across North America has increasingly looked to rail and barge transportation of crude as pipeline expansion has fallen behind increasing production.

“Whenever we see an event like this, our main concern is to learn from it and do everything we can to ensure that nothing like this would ever happen again,” Polak said. “So we will be watching the federal investigation very closely.”

Polak said there is no simple answer to the question of whether pipelines are safer than rail for transporting oil.

“There is differing opinion on either side, and much depends on what kind of topography you’re dealing with in a particular location,” she said.

Transport Canada increased restrictions on rail operations after two serious accidents in recent years. Train lengths were restricted on CN’s B.C. operations near Prince George after an August 2006 collision between two trains with a fire involving gasoline and lumber cars.

In 2005 a CN derailment in the Cheakamus Canyon resulted in a tank car loaded with caustic soda spilling in the river, killing thousands of fish.

In both incidents, the available locomotive and braking power were a key focus for investigators.

 

Just Posted

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Chemainus

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Crofton Alternate Water Supply Project eliminates boil water advisories

System takes away the need to utilize Crofton Lake in the event of a disruption to mill source

First-ever Cowichan Bluegrass Festival a hit at Lake Cowichan

With great music, great weather, and great ambience at Laketown Ranch: everyone loved it

Rats edge Arrows in playoff preview

Postseason begins for Cowichan at home on Saturday

Mary Lowther column: Without the bees, there are no crops

Wikipedia explains that the mason bee was named for the way it builds clay nests to lay its eggs.

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

Coming up in Cowichan: Spend Father’s Day fishing, or head to the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Deadline coming to register for class reunion The Cowichan Secondary Class of… Continue reading

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

Nanaimo a prime market for new plane, Air Canada says

Vice-president previews Airbus A220, praises Nanaimo’s growth in passenger numbers

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

RCMP deploys special unit in Comox Valley to combat organized crime

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spends four days targeting organized crime in Courtenay

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Most Read