After third recent oil spill, NDP says independent offshore authority is long overdue

Updated: Oct 3, 2019



For immediate release

August 20, 2019

After third recent oil spill, NDP says independent offshore authority is long overdue


Since 2010, the NDP has repeatedly called for an independent offshore authority as recommended by Justice Robert Wells following the offshore helicopter safety inquiry.


After the 250,000 litre spill at the Husky SeaRose FPSO in November 2018 – the largest offshore oil spill in our history – the NDP Caucus demanded answers in the House of Assembly, stating that self-regulation by industry is clearly not working, and called for the creation of an independent offshore safety and environmental authority.


This June, the new NDP Caucus asked questions in the House to raise concerns about the effects of seismic testing and repeat the call for an independent authority, a longstanding NDP position.

Leader Alison Coffin once again demands an independent offshore authority following two recent spills at the Hibernia platform, one on July 17 and another this past weekend, bringing the tally to three spills in less than a year.


“We need tougher regulations and monitoring to prevent oil spills, the die-out of seabirds, and near-misses with icebergs, such as the one that occurred on the Husky SeaRose in March 2017,” Coffin said. “Why is government refusing to consider an independent offshore environmental and safety authority, similar to agencies found in Norway and Australia?” demanded Coffin.


Coffin says our industry is changing with the move to deeper waters, drilling further offshore, and more frequent and severe storms due to climate change. “It’s clear we must modernize our industry and take greater care to ensure environmental and worker safety.”


“The NDP Caucus calls on the Minister of Natural Resources and the government to work with the federal government to establish an independent offshore safety and environmental authority similar to the global standard set by Norway and Australia,” Coffin said.


“I urge the Premier, in the spirit of collaboration, to work with the other party Leaders to plan how to make offshore safety and environmental protection independent from the C-NLOPB,” Coffin said. “It’s long overdue.”


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For further information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), or zarenhealeywhite@gov.nl.ca.

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