Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms attended a meeting with the Canadian Coast Guard recently to discuss the $6 million allocated in the federal budget for the Manolis L. situation. Pictured is Coast Guard director general Wade Spurell (left) with Simms.
Efforts to deal with the environmental concerns surrounding the Manolis L. appear ready to make some concrete steps forward, and the area’s MP couldn’t be more pleased.
Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms has been a fixture on the issue of the Manolis L. (the paper carrier that sank near Change Islands in 1985 with over 500 tones of fuel and diesel in its tanks) since 2013 when two cracks formed in the vessel which resulted in oil leaking from the vessel. Temporary containment measures were put in place by the coast guard.
On the heels of an announcement in the recent federal budget that $6 million would be allocated towards a technical assessment aimed at finding a permanent solution to the situation, Simms sat down with the Canadian Coast Guard to discuss plans for moving forward for the future of the Manolis L.
“With the $6 million they received in the budget they are doing the assessment, but primarily they are going to establish the guidelines for how they are going to put out a Request for Proposal (RFP),” Simms told TC Media. “They go out into the world and find out who does this the best — the removal of oil from the vessel.”
The coast guard is putting together a statement of work. This includes the details surrounding removing oil from the vessel. The statement of work will then be released to potential candidates that specialize in oil removal. From this they can determine what the cost and timeframe would be to complete the project.
Simms said the statement should be finalized with the next couple of weeks and released.
“The government itself cannot do this type of work with its own equipment,” the MP said. “We can monitor it and provide a cofferdam, but in order for us to remove the oil, we need to go to an outside organization.”
Simms added that the Manolis L. is unique in that it sits in very deep water, therefore it could be new territory for a lot of people.
“We have to find out who can do this in the most efficient way possible, and the safest way possible,” he said.
The coast guard continues to do surveillance, hull surveys and monitor the vessel.
Simms is pleased to see a plan put in place for the Manolis L.
“People now know that this plan is a good one, a solid one and the fact that we are going to be out there and finding the answers by which we can get this cleaned up on a permanent basis is great for me and great for everybody, and this thing doesn’t hang over our heads anymore like a large hammer waiting to fall.”