Marine Spills Contingency Plan - National Chapter

Letter of Promulgation

Pursuant to the Emergency Management Act, federal Ministers have a statutory responsibility to ensure each department, agency or Crown corporation within their area of responsibility has an emergency plan to deal with civil emergencies related to their area of accountability. Federal government policy for emergency preparedness is to assign lead agency responsibility to the predominant department.

Through legislation such as the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, the Oceans Act, the Marine Liability Act and subject to various inter-agency agreements, the Canadian Coast Guard, a special operating agency of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, has lead agency responsibility for ensuring a response and will provide a leadership role to ship-source spills, mystery-source spills, pollution incidents that occur at oil handling facilities as a result of loading or unloading oil to or from ships, and spills from any source originating in foreign waters that impact Canadian waters. Additionally, the Canadian Coast Guard will provide assistance to those agencies responding to incidents that do not fall under the Canadian Coast Guard’s mandate, where possible.

The Canadian Coast Guard Marine Spills Contingency Plan defines the scope and framework within which the Canadian Coast Guard will operate to ensure a response to marine pollution incidents. In accordance with Canada’s Marine Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime, the polluter is expected to respond to incidents while the Canadian Coast Guard will work with the polluter and other partners and stakeholders in a Unified Command setting in the capacity of Incident Commander for the federal government or in Single Command for other, specific types of incidents. The Canadian Coast Guard may also provide assistance to other federal, provincial, territorial or local agencies.

The Canadian Coast Guard Marine Spills Contingency Plan – National Chapter (2017) supersedes the previous Marine Spills Contingency Plan – National Chapter (2011). The custodian for the overall coordination of the Plan is the Director General, Operations, Canadian Coast Guard.

Originally signed by:

Gregory A. Lick
Director General, Operations
Canadian Coast Guard

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