From the Bridge – Fall 2021 Edition: “WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SHIP-SOURCE OIL POLLUTION FUND”
The article describes the type of claims a shipowner or operator can submit to the Fund when they suffer oil pollution damage from another ship.
It also summarizes the list of operational incidents caused by commercial vessels that generated claims with the Fund.
Thank you to Master Mariners of Canada for telling your members about the Fund.
Pitts Carillon: The County of Prince Edward in Ontario accepted the Administrator’s offer of compensation – 2019-09-11
Recent News: The County of Prince Edward in Ontario accepted the Administrator’s offer of compensation for the Pitts Carillon incident. They will receive $394,110.76 (with interest), marking the highest amount ever paid to a local government in the history of the Fund.
In 2017, the County of Prince Edward called a water emergency and shut down their water plant as a result of the sinking and spilling from the barge. The pollutants released on the day of the sinking totalled approximately 50 litres in volume.
We want to remind municipalities, cities, villages, townships and Indigenous communities that, in case of damages, they can submit claims for:
- Clean-up costs and preventive measures
- Property damages
- Costs for rehabilitating damaged environments
- Economic losses
It is not the first time that we compensate regarding municipal water treatment systems. In 2017, we$225,094.77 to the Municipality of Killarney following the Warren L. II incident:
- We compensated for preventive measures taken to protect their water plant and for the costs of importing water to keep up with local demands during the water system shutdown.
For more information on the Pitts Carllion incident, visit: https://sopf.gc.ca/?page_id=4978
For more information on the Warren L. II incident, visit: https://sopf.gc.ca/?page_id=5229
The Picton Gazette – Pitts Carillon – 2019-08-26
Recent news regarding the Pitts Carillon and the claim process after a water emergency was declared as contaminants were approaching the water intake zone for Picton and Bloomfield water plants.
Thanks to The Picton Gazette for covering the story:
- “For 30 years, the Fund has been mandated to compensate victims of oil pollution damage (including costs incurred for preventive measures) caused by ships and then take action to recover the costs from the polluters or other responsible parties,” according to the SOPF.
Motion of sale dismissed in the HMCS Cormorant case – 2019-07-27
Recent news regarding the HMCS Cormorant, a former Royal Canadian Navy ship, that listed and leaked oil in the LaHave River, Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. The Federal Court of Canada dismissed a motion that would have allowed the sale of the ship.
- We opposed the sale because the ship has no market value, is a pollution risk and liability, and it is not in the public interest to allow the sale.
The Fund, who already paid more than half a million dollars for pollution cleanup, will continue the Court process to recuperate the cost from the polluter.
Thanks to the LighthouseNOW and the Chronicle Herald for telling the story.
- To read the complete articles, please visit:
Maritime Magazine – Highlights of 30th anniversary conference of the Fund – Summer 2019
Thanks Maritime Magazine for highlighting our 30th anniversary of compensating victims of oil pollution from ships.
We also wish to thank the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds), Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Lyackson First Nation, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Town of Shelburne, Nova Scotia and the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities for their contribution!
BC Shipping News – May 2019
Press release: SOPF HAS COMPENSATED VICTIMS OF OIL POLLUTION FROM SHIPS FOR 30 YEARS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 24, 2019
THE SOPF HAS COMPENSATED VICTIMS OF OIL POLLUTION FROM SHIPS FOR 30 YEARS
OTTAWA – The Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund (the Fund) today celebrates 30 years of compensating victims of oil pollution from ships. Since its creation in 1989, the Fund has received more than 409 claims and paid $24 million in compensation following the discharge – or the risk of a discharge – of oil in Canadian waters from ships of all types.
“Thirty years ago today, Canada established a compensation regime whereby victims of pollution can be compensated directly by the Fund, which then takes action against the polluter, while protecting taxpayers”, said Anne Legars, the Fund’s Administrator. “Since 1989, guided by the polluter pays principle, the Fund has been involved in 48 court cases, and as a result of its increased efforts over the last three years, it has recovered $2.6 million through the courts and out of court, more than ever before!”
Here are a few more key numbers:
- The Canadian Coast Guard remains the Fund’s main claimant, with close to 7 out of 10 claims submitted to the Fund;
- 1 out of every 4 claims involves a derelict or abandoned vessel or a wreck;
- The largest amount claimed in a single year was in 2017-2018, when the Fund received 32 claims totalling $7 million;
- The highest compensation amount paid to a single claimant was in 2018, when the Fund paid $4.2 million to the Canadian Coast Guard following the sinking of the Chaulk Determination in Trois-Rivières;
- Canadian victims received $12 million from the International Funds following the spill of 200 tons of fuel oil from the tanker Rio Orinoco, which sank off Anticosti Island in 1990;
- 2017-2018 was an historic year in terms of the diversity of claimants.
Throughout the year of celebration, the Fund will maximize its communication efforts in order to increase awareness of the Fund and continue to promote access to justice and compensation.
“We are actively working to inform all potential claimants of the Fund’s existence and the compensation they are entitled to, particularly by publishing more tools aimed at facilitating claims”, said Anne Legars, who is inviting all Canadians to participate online in the Fund’s anniversary conference scheduled for May 28, 2019 by visiting the following link: https://freeman.streamme.ca/sopf-cidphn2019.
FOR MORE INFORMATION / POUR PLUS D’INFORMATION: Jannie Bédard Guillemette: 613-990-8666
Canadian Sailings – March 2019 Issue: “Celebrating 30 years of compensating victims of oil pollution”
Our Administrator, Anne Legars, wrote an article in Canadian Sailings magazine for the March 2019 issue. The article summarizes the activities of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund over the last thirty years, and discusses significant legislative amendments in December 2018.
Thank you to Canadian Sailings for telling our story.
To read the article, please visit Canadian Sailings website, or follow the link below.
Summary of 30 years of compensating victims of oil pollution from ships
Impacts of the 2018 modifications to the Marine Liability Act on the Fund
Legislative amendments to the Marine Liability Act (MLA) to modernize the Fund came into force in December 2018. They:
- Removed the Fund’s per-incident liability cap, meaning compensation for claimants is now unlimited;
- If the Fund is ever emptied, the Consolidated Revenue Fund may provide temporary replenishment;
- Added a new simplified and fast-tracked process for most claims up to $35,000;
- Made available emergency funding up to $10 million to Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the event of a major oil spill;
- If the initial funds are exhausted, additional funding can be provided up to $50 million;
- Clarified that certain forms of economic loss (including loss of revenue) are compensable;
- Expanded the Fund’s liability when Fisheries and Oceans Canada takes preventive measures before a “grave and imminent threat” of oil pollution damage arises.
- Modernized the levy (fee per tonne, inactive since 1976) that can be charged to oil importers and exporters;
- Administrative monetary penalties have been created for contraventions of these provisions.
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.