British Columbia (BC) is represented on the Oil Spill Task Force by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (BC ENV), Environmental Emergency Program (EEP). The program’s mission statement is: To protect and enhance the quality of BC’s water, land, and air in a way that contributes to healthy communities, a sustainable environment, and a strong and vibrant provincial economy.
EEP is responsible for responding to hazardous material spills. The program develops and implements tools to prepare for, respond to and recover from spill incidents and other environmental emergencies. EEP is dedicated to protecting the welfare of the public and environment in the event of an environmental emergency or disaster.
Environmental Emergency Program
BC’s Environmental Emergency Program Mandate and Overview
Quick, effective action helps to prevent harm and protect the environment when an emergency occurs. The Ministry of Environment Act delegates authority to BC ENV to act as the provincial lead in planning for, coordinating, implementing, and managing a program to protect the welfare of the public and environment in the event of an environmental emergency or disaster.
To deliver on EEP’s mandate, the program carries out a wide range of activities:
- Prepare for and respond to oil spills, chemical spills, and spills of any substance that could affect or harm the natural environment;
- Provide Environmental Emergency Response Officers (EEROs) to assess conditions and oversee the response when an incident occurs;
- Provide scientific advice and site support during an incident;
- Oversee and regulate environmental recovery following a spill;
- Work with partner agencies to effectively coordinate the roles and responsibilities of all responders during an incident;
- Develop regulations, policies, procedures, plans, operational guidelines, cooperative agreements, and technical documents to ensure effective coordinated action during an emergency.
Current information on EEP activities can be found in the BC ENV Report to Legislature https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/spills-environmental-emergencies/annual-reports