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In response to information in the news this week, the MIB would like to inform you that:

Current response system
An effective oil spill response system already exists. Currently, numerous response tools are in place for the St. Lawrence, provided by response organizations accredited by Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, etc.
For more on tankers
For more on prevention and response

Portion of the St. Lawrence covered
As confirmed by Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard (read article – in French only), an area response planning pilot project is currently being tested on the St. Lawrence River between Montréal and Anticosti Island.

The project entails studying given environments and assessing the response capability required to attenuate risks there. The approach is aimed at working with the stakeholders concerned to establish each party’s role and responsibilities to ensure that there is no confusion should response be required.

No supertanker has ever travelled the St. Lawrence. By definition, a supertanker is a ship carrying oil and measuring more than 400 m in length. The maximum length of ships navigating the St. Lawrence is currently 300 m. Supertankers cannot be on the rise on the St. Lawrence because there are none.

Bigger ships
In 2013,authorization was granted for bigger ships to travel on the St. Lawrence, following a risk analysis and public consultations conducted by the competent authorities. Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, St. Lawrence pilots and other experts were involved in defining the parameters for the completely safe passage of bigger ships. The exercise took more than two years and resulted in the authorization of ships measuring 44 m in width (previously 40 m in width).