UPDATED: English Bay oil spill netted Vancouver $266,014

Federal government recovered $2.1 million in wake of Marathassa spill

The Vancouver Fire Department responds to a bunker fuel spill in English Bay | Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Canada’s Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund has recovered $2.1 million from the owners of the ship Marathassa after an April 8, 2015 spill of 2,800-litres of bunker fuel oil in Vancouver’s English Bay.

Fund lawyer Ryan Gauvin told Union of B.C. Municipalities delegates Sept. 25 the case of the Korean bulk grain carrier netted a $266,014 for Vancouver.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart said in a statement he was disappointed the city’s initial claim for $569,053 in clean up costs for the Marathassa spill yielded a smaller payment.

“This shows once again how the risks of oil spills are borne by local governments, while any benefits only benefit a small handful. Not only are these spills a risk to our environment but they're also clearly a risk to our finances,” Stewart said. “That's why I have always maintained that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a risk we cannot afford and this case shows why.”

In three separate actions filed in the Federal Court of Canada in April 2018, federal provincial and federal governments claim Marathassa Shipping Corp., Alassia NewShips Management Inc., The Standard Club Europe Ltd. and the ship Marathassa had failed to pay for the cleanup costs.

The case resulted in claims to the fund from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the City of Vancouver totalling $3.2 million.

The city had claimed $569,053 and was initially offered $235,748, according to the fund’s 2018-19 annual reports.

The port claimed $198,947 and was offered $172,935 while DFO claimed $2.43 million and was offered $1.95 million.

The annual report said the Marathassa cases were settled out of court or through mediation.