Michipicoten (2015)

LOCATION: Superior Terminal, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Case number: 120-723-C1

The Incident
On August 30, 2015, the Master of the bulk carrier Michipicoten (15,366 GRT), docked at the Superior Terminal at Thunder Bay, Ontario, reported that an internal fuel transfer had caused an overflow. Approximately 200 litres of heavy oil flowed onto the deck and down the port side of the vessel into the harbour.

The vessel’s crew deployed an oil containment boom, which contained approximately two-thirds of the spill. The Master had contacted the local Response Organization (RO) to assist with the clean-up operations. The RO arrived on-site shortly afterwards and deployed containment booms and sorbent material. A vacuum truck was also contracted.

Once made aware of the spill, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) deployed an employee to Thunder Bay to assume the role of Federal Monitoring Officer. By the next day, the ship’s hull had been cleaned by the crew and was deemed ready to load. The Michipicoten departed Thunder Bay on September 3, 2015.

After the vessel departed, any oil and residue remaining along the dock wall was removed. The Federal Monitoring Officer and the provincial environment representative conducted a final site visit on September 4, 2015, and did not observe any residual sheen on the water.

The Claim
On August 29, 2017, the CCG on behalf of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO/CCG) filed a claim with the Administrator for monitoring costs in the amount of $4,845.89, pursuant to section 103 of the Marine Liability Act.

The Administrator determined that the claim was admissible under Part 7 of the Act.

Assessment and Offer
On October 25, 2017, after investigation and assessment of the claim, including requests for additional information and documentation, the Administrator made an offer to DFO/CCG for the established amount of $4,745.46, plus interest, pursuant to section 105 of the Act. The elements of the claim were accepted in their entirety, with the exception of administration costs, which were accepted at the rate of 2.53% previously agreed upon by CCG and the Fund.

On December 13, 2017, the offer was accepted by CCG.

On December 20, 2017, the Administrator directed that the amount of $5,076.99 (which includes $331.53 in accrued interest) be transferred to DFO/CCG.

Recovery Action
On February 27, 2018, the Administrator’s in-house counsel sent a demand letter to the shipowner. On March 13, 2018, a settlement was reached with the shipowner for the amount of the settled claim ($4,745.46), without accrued interest.

The file was still open as of March 31, 2018 pending reception of the settlement money.