Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Ship That Spilled 700+ Gallons Into Vancouver, BC Bay Acquitted

Energy
Fuel Spill Confirmed in English Bay

The ship MV Marathassa was acquitted of all charges Thursday relating to an oil spill that released 2,700 liters (approximately 713.3 gallons) of fuel into Vancouver, B.C.'s English Bay and coated four migratory birds with oil.


The ship was originally charged with discharging a pollutant into the water on April 8, 2015 and failing to implement a pollution plan in response.

The City of Vancouver maintained the ship still owed it more than half a million dollars in cleanup costs, which it has not given up pursuing.

"The city is disappointed to learn that the charged related to this oil spill have been dismissed," it said in a statement reported by Global News Thursday.

B.C Provincial Court Judge Kathryn Denhoff acquitted the vessel, registered to Cyprus, for the following reasons, according to The Vancouver Sun.

1 .The Spill Was Not 'Foreseeable'

Denhoff ruled that there was no way the owners of the ship, which had only been operational for three weeks, could have detected the defects in its construction that caused the spill ahead of time.

"The two defects were not foreseeable to the owner or crew of the Marathassa and were only discovered after the leak of fuel oil was traced back to the area of the defects," the judge ruled. "Those defects were not foreseeable to the external auditors of the shipbuilding or to two experienced Transport Canada inspectors, who spent an entire day inspecting the vessel and searching for the source of the fuel-oil discharge."

2. The Ship Did Help With Recovery

The ship had been charged with failing to carry out its emergency plan, but Denhoff ruled it did in fact do so by taking samples of the oil and helping to contain the spill.

"As a result, the Marathassa is acquitted of all charges," Denhoff concluded.

Most of the fuel from the spill was recovered or dispersed within 48 hours, but it still harmed the environment of the shores surrounding English Bay. The City of Vancouver said it would continue to seek financial compensation for the money it spent on recovery.

"The city's claim for compensation is under the Marine Liability Act which imposes a different standard of liability t[h]an the quasi-criminal charges brought under different statutes that were the subject matter of [Thursday's] court decision. Accordingly, the city does not anticipate that the court's decision will have any impact on its cost recovery claims," the statement reported by Global News said.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Joe Leech

The human body comprises around 60% water.

It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less

Trending

People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less