The Chaulk Determination

The Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (SOPF) recently paid out its largest claim ever, for an incident involving the sinking of the tugboat Chaulk Determination, which had occurred on December 26, 2014, at the wharf of the Port of Trois-Rivières, Quebec. At the time, the vessel was leaking fuel oil into the St. Lawrence River. (For more details regarding the incident, click here.

On December 9, 2016, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) filed a claim, on behalf of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), in the amount of $4,585,963.68 with the Administrator, pursuant to the Marine Liability Act, for costs and expenses incurred responding to the pollution incident of the Chaulk Determination.

An assessment of the claim was carried out, and on July 18, 2018, the Administrator made a global offer to the CCG, of $4,200,576.18 (including interest).

The CCG accepted the offer on September 17, 2018 and payment was made on September 19, 2018.


The largest indemnification paid in Canada for a single incident was paid out by the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds), for the  Rio Orinoco. This tanker incident occurred in Canadian waters on October 16, 1990, on the west coast of Anticosti Island. The IOPC Funds paid out a total amount of some $11.8 M for claims totalling over $12.3 M from the Canadian Coast Guard, Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.