Ukee considered possible site for oil spill response centre

Kinder Morgan could be considering putting an oil spill response centre in Ucluelet.

Since the federal government announced the closure of Ucluelet’s Coast Guard Station at Amphitrite Point, local officials have been looking into alternative uses for the existing facility and may have found one in oil spill preparedness.

During the recent Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities convention held in Qualicum Beach, Ucluelet councillor Geoff Lyons and Mayor Bill Irving met with representatives from Kinder Morgan regarding the potential Trans Mountain pipeline.

“As you know, we are trying to find alternate uses for the Coast Guard facilities and so they’re about to propose they could offer some assistance by oil spill preparedness,” Lyons said.

He said Kinder Morgan has sights set on Ucluelet for an oil spill response centre and added that Ucluelet could become a high-traffic hub with tugboats escorting vessels from Vancouver past the West Coast.

“If that’s the case, what better place to have those tugboats changing shifts and basically staying here and changing crews and everything else than Ucluelet,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity for us to be leaders in oil spill preparedness.”

reporter@westerlynews.ca

Geoff Lyon