Logistics required for deploying newly researched oil spill tools

Petition: 446

Issue(s): Science and technology; Toxic substances; Water

Petitioner(s): A Canadian organization

Petitioner Location(s): Halifax, Nova Scotia

Date Received: 21 September 2020

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition raises concerns about the scope of research projects funded by Natural Resources Canada’s Oil Spill Response Science (OSRS) program. According to the petition, the OSRS program does not require researchers to demonstrate that the chemical tools being researched can be deployed quickly enough to successfully mitigate oil spills. It argues that investing federal funding in new tools that work well in the laboratory but that cannot be speedily and effectively deployed in remote locations or in adverse weather conditions will fail to protect Canada’s oceans from catastrophic oil spills. The petition posits that OSRS-funded research should address these potential logistical challenges

The petition claims that an OSRS-funded project on spill-treating agents does not address the logistics of deploying these chemicals after an actual oil spill. The petition lists a series of questions about the logistical challenges of applying the chemicals quickly enough to be effective. It also asks whether the department requires researchers to produce solutions to the challenges of deploying new OSRS-funded tools and technology in a way that successfully removes the bulk of the spilled oil from the ocean.

Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: Natural Resources Canada