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New land-based spills legislation says BC Environment Minister

B.C.’s environment minister says the province is working on new legislation to deal with land-based spills as it aims to create an organization to quickly respond to such incidents.

Mary Polak says the provincially certified, industry-funded organization would be able to act before it’s known who’s responsible for the spill, responding immediately with trained workers and proper equipment.

The proposed legislation would require companies to prove they have plans in place to manage and respond to any land-based spills.

Polak says the province wants to fill any gaps in existing legislation, particularly when it comes to co-ordinating responses, and hopes the changes will be in place by 2017.

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