Oil spill response plan censored

Moira Baird
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Industry regulator calls blackouts 'a mistake'

The board that regulates the province’s offshore oil industry said it was a mistake to black out sections of Chevron Canada’s oil spill response plan released to media outlets earlier this week.

A small tour boat passes in front of the drill rig Glomar Grand Banks and a tow ship. The rig was about to be towed out of Bay Bulls to be deployed on the White Rose oil fields.

That plan laid out how the company would respond to an oil spill while drilling Canada’s deepest offshore well in the Orphan Basin located 430 kilometres northeast of St. John’s.

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) said Thursday it will now release four oil spill response plans “in the interest of the public’s right to know.”

Those plans include the Orphan exploration drilling program, along with those for the Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose oilfields.

They set out the roles and responsibilities of the oil companies, contractors and provincial and federal governments in responding to an oil spill off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The work would be overseen by the CNLOPB .

When the board releases the Chevron plan this time, it will include oil spill trajectory model information and oil spill response management information.

See THAT page D2

Organizations: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Hibernia, Postmedia News CBC-News BP Suncor Energy

Geographic location: Terra Nova, White Rose, Canada Gulf of Mexico Newfoundland and Labrador U.S. Arctic

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Recent comments

  • will
    July 27, 2010 - 09:11

    and the answer is they can only clean up maybe and that is a big maybe 10 to 12 percent of the oil that could spill in the north atlantic that is already known by big oil companies and also your own goverment

  • Nasty Nate
    July 23, 2010 - 16:19

    If it is not an open policy then someone is trying to cover up something. The CNLOPB has some questions to answer right now before we can trust anything that comes out of that office.

  • Anon
    July 23, 2010 - 12:45

    Why trust a company to clean up an oil spill when they are only going to be concerned with the cheapest way to do it. Let the military handle national defense issues such as oil spills (yeah that is a national defense issue) and let them blow the hole up and back fill it like the Russians did and like Bill Clinton urged the US government to do in the gulf. Oil Companies CAN NOT be trusted.

  • Big Al Watcher
    July 23, 2010 - 09:32

    I'm more surprised by CNLOPB's reversal than it's original response. The Board has left a distinct impression over the years, and most recently during the Cougar Helicopter Inquiry, as being non-accountable, beholding to the oil industry and whishy/washy in respect to enforcement of safety and environmental concerns. It's legal and communications representatives have offered the standard responses to questions about accountability like, um, da, don't recall, could you repeat the question; not our responsibility, we leave that to the operators; etc. And, it's current flip flop speaks to it's historical culture of protective cover-up and being a puppet to big oil rather than an independant regulator. The Board's latest action makes Minister Dunderdale look somewhat credible in comparision. Or, could it be that industry felt the public pressure and lifted the embargo on this crutial information in an effort to divest itself of the culture of deceit?