Update on Fisherman’s Cove Fuel Distribution Float
Monday, July 21, 2008
For Immediate Release
West Vancouver, BC: In late 2007, Esso decided to decommission all of its marine fuelling facilities in Western Canada, including Fisherman’s Cove, with little or no consultation with the boating community and without developing appropriate procedures for decommissioning sites before transferring to another fuel provider. As a result, the District of West Vancouver has been working towards resuming a fuelling station at Fisherman’s Cove, but the process has been challenging.
Esso requested that the District of West Vancouver provide them with an indemnification against all future environmental liabilities, and if we didn’t, then they would only allow another provider after they have completed their own environmental assessment of the site and determined that the site is clean. Esso believes the risk and extent of these long term liabilities are too high for the shareholders of Esso, but West Vancouver Council and staff are not prepared to accept potential liabilities either.
In the absence of an indemnity, Esso has embarked on a process to establish a protocol for decommissioning sites, which has been reviewed and supported by the Vancouver and Fraser Port Authority and is now being reviewed by the legal and environmental staff at Imperial Oil (Esso). Testing for contaminants and completion of a report will take up to two (2) months. If no contaminants are found and no clean up is required, then a new operator could install equipment and be operating by mid-September. If contaminants are found, the clean up could take much longer. Therefore, the District is also exploring alternative locations and means to provide fuel at Fisherman’s Cove.
The District of West Vancouver is frustrated by the inconvenience that this situation has caused for the boating community at Fisherman’s Cove. We feel the potential financial and environmental liabilities are too great for West Vancouver to take on, so Council and staff have determined that the best course of action to reinstate a fuelling site at Fisherman’s Cove is for Esso to complete its protocol and test the site. We will continue to encourage them to move quickly and we encourage the boating community to do the same.
Director of Planning, Lands and Permits