DAILY NEWS Feb 5, 2013 11:31 AM - 0 comments

Marine risk experts invited to bid on federal hazardous materials spill preparedness study

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The federal government announced Monday it is looking for a contractor with expertise in marine risk to conduct a risk assessment on spills, from ships and oil handling facilities, of hazardous substances in Canadian waters.


"The completion of this pan-Canadian risk assessment will provide the government and industry with risk information upon which appropriate prevention, preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery measures can be planned," according to a summary published Monday on the MERX electronic bidding website.

In a press release, Transport Canada stated the contract will be managed by Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Bids are due at 3:00 p.m. ET on March 13.

"Building on previously conducted risk assessments, this study will analyze and evaluate the risk of oil or chemical spills occurring in Canadian waters as a result of incidents involving ships or oil handling facilities," according to the press release.

The first phase will examine both the likelihood and impact of oil spills in Canadian waters, while the second phase will examine different types of incidents, including collisions, fire, explosions, structural failure and loading or off-loading operations.

Transport Canada is commissioning the study in collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard and Environment Canada.

Both Transport Canada and the Coast Guard are involved in responding to spills.

Transport Canada is the lead agency “responsible for the regime in which government departments and the private sector join forces to respond to oil spills in Canadian waters,” while the Coast Guard is responsible for “ensuring an appropriate response to ship source spills” and in ensuring there is a response “where there is not a clearly identified polluter or where the polluter has not taken responsibility."

Environment Canada provides technical advice on factors such as the behaviour and effects of spilled substances, water trajectory modeling and identifying sensitive ecological areas. It also provides advice on spill response, including equipment and the use of treatment agents and in-situ burning.

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