Information Bulletin - Robson Bight Spill Response Transitions to Monitoring Phase

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 24 /CNW/ - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the
Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), Lee Roy Trucking (the Responsible Party), BC Parks
wardens and Ministry of Environment (MOE) staff will continue to monitor the
site at the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve as we move from a
spill response to the monitoring phase. The Responsible Party has identified a
monitoring plan which includes both air and water components.
    Due to the significantly high evaporation rate of diesel fuel, the bulk
of the product released in the incident has dissipated. The Regional
Environmental Emergency Team (REET) and the Canadian Coast Guard are of the
view that it is highly likely that the submerged tanks imploded on descent,
releasing the fuel which evaporated on the surface of the water. Shoreline
surveys by Environment Canada, MOE and CCG officials have confirmed that no
sheen or oil impacted the shoreline.
    Daily observations by whale experts with DFO have found the whales appear
to be behaving normally with their typical summer foraging pattern. The
protective booms around the rubbing beaches were removed as experts believed
they may affect the natural behaviours of the whales.
    Focus Wildlife has concluded a survey for any affected wildlife. Although
the Ministry of Environment has received reports of distressed bird sightings,
none of these sightings have been confirmed amongst the thousands of birds
that currently inhabit the reserve. The Canadian Wildlife Service is
conducting an aerial migratory bird survey on Friday, August 24. The public
can report unusual wildlife behaviour in the area by calling 1-877-952-7277.
    Federal and Provincial staff have been in contact with First Nations in
the area since the incident began. Transport Canada continues to investigate
the incident for violations to the Canada Shipping Act, and the Transportation
Safety Board is assessing all available information to determine the most
appropriate action to take.

For further information:

For further information: Dept. Fisheries and Oceans/Canadian Coast
Guard, Dan Bate, Communications Officer, (604) 775-8809; Environment Canada,
Micheline Brodeur, Senior Communications Advisor, (604) 713-9539; Transport
Canada, Rod Nelson, Communications Director, (604) 666-1675; B.C. Ministry of
Environment, Kate Thompson, Manager, Media Relations, (250) 953-4577

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