Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson has revealed that the city has filed a federal court claim against the owner of a ship responsible for spilling fuel into the English Bay in 2015.
Robertson said that the city has yet to be compensated for about $550,000 which it spent on response efforts to the spill. The MV Marathassa spilled 2,700 litres of bunker fuel into the bay.
The mayor added that Vancouver has attempted to reimburse its costs through the federal government’s Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund, but has been promised compensation for only 27% of its costs.
“It’s ridiculous that it’s taken over three years now fighting for our costs to be covered by an oil spill in our harbour,” Robertson said during the announcement of the claim.
The Canadian Press reported that the city’s claim against the ship owners calls for damages, interest, and court costs related to the spill. The claim was filed last month, but was announced Sunday.
During the announcement of the claim, Robertson also discussed how increased tanker traffic that comes with the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could lead to more potential diluted bitumen spills – an issue the federal government has not properly addressed, he says.
He also criticized the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund, which has allegedly failed to act in the interest of communities affected by spills like Vancouver.
“It clearly does not do that, does not deliver the results. This speaks to the greater concern we have with Kinder Morgan and oil tankers,” the mayor remarked.