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Green Party gives English Bay fuel spill response a "failing grade"

Fuel spill in English Bay (April 9/15) (Chad Dey, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Federal and municipal members of the Green Party are adding their voices to the chorus of concern regarding the response to the English Bay fuel spill.

While federal MP James Moore called the response “world class,” members of the Green Party say it was more like a “failing grade response.”

Green city councillor Adriane Carr is reiterating the 13-hour lag between the spill and the city getting notified. “There needs to be a clear review of the timing of information conveyance, the authorities that needed to be informed and what would trigger response on their part, and a tightening of every one of those procedures. We were on the ball as soon as we were informed, the problem is we were informed to late.”

She says she’s happy a federal election is looming, adding people need to remember this and make the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard an issue.

They’re also questioning recovery figures given by the Coast Guard that only six litres remain on the surface.

Federal Green Party candidate in North Vancouver, Claire Martin, says this doesn’t give the whole picture.

“That plane that is doing the low flyby is actually measuring how much of the slick is still visible. It’s that they think and say ‘it’s 80 per cent contained.’ What about what is in the water? As I said, it was a volumetric dispersion. You can’t just look at the top of the ocean and say we’ve got it contained.”

Federal Green Party candidate in Burnaby Lynn Quarmby, who is also a marine biologist, says this is just the beginning of the unknown. “The Bitumen will sink, it will penetrate into the sediments, it will kill life. It’s going to take decades and decades to recover. It will never be properly cleaned up. The Exxon Valdez spill is not yet fully cleaned up.”

Quarmby also notes the food chain was impacted the moment the toxic fuel entered the waters.