Sc'ianew First Nation signs deal on spill response base

The organization tasked with cleaning up oil spills around Vancouver Island, the Strait of Georgia and Metro Vancouver’s coastline has signed a deal with the Sc’ianew First Nation to build a response base in its East Sooke territory.

Western Canada Marine Response, which has undertaken a $150 million spill-response ­program to establish a network of response bases and procure as many as 48 new vessels in ­preparation for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, will establish a marine base at Cheanuh Marina and a warehouse nearby.

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Construction of the new docks at the marina is expected to start in late October with a goal of completion by the summer. Construction of the office and warehouse building will begin in July.

The base will house 20 full-time response personnel and will be fully operational by fall 2022.

“As stewards of the sea, we have an obligation to ­protect the ocean for our future ­generations. The response base will allow us to enhance that ­protection,” said Chief Russ Chipps of the Sc’ianew First Nation.

“If we aren’t ready to protect the environment, who is?”

Western Canada Marine Response will eventually ­establish 120 personnel at six new response bases as a result of the Trans Mountain spill response enhancement ­program.

The program includes ­establishing or improving bases at Nanaimo, Port Alberni, ­Ucluelet, Sidney, Beecher Bay and the Lower Mainland to deal with potential oil spills as a result of increased tanker ­traffic.

 

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