On October 13, 2017, the BC Ministry of Environment launched “world leading” new spill preparedness, response and recovery requirements to address public concerns regarding the impact of spills of regulated substances on the environment and the general public. Read on to learn how ICBC will work with its insured carriers in the event of a spill.
ICBC welcomes BC’s new spill response requirements, including the amendments to the Environmental Management Act and three new regulations summarized below:
Environmental Management Act Amendments include the creation of two categories of entities (“responsible persons” and “regulated persons”), the responsibilities of these entities in the event of a spill and the establishment of a new spill contingency planning framework for regulated persons.
Spill Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Regulation includes details about prescribed substances for the purposes of the definition of regulated persons, deadlines for the preparation of a spill contingency plan for regulated persons, required contents of a recovery plan and report on conclusion of the recovery plan, and details regarding record-keeping requirements.
Spill Contingency Planning Regulation, for those who are regulated, includes the required contents of a spill contingency plan and details the scope of the planning that regulated persons must undertake in preparing for a possible future spill. This includes carrier requirements for training, incident command systems, spill response procedures, health and safety, first responders, local and provincial authorities, wildlife response, and hazard assessments.
Spill Reporting Regulation includes details of the situations that trigger spill-reporting requirements, initial reporting to the Provincial Emergency Program (1-800-663-3456) and the requirements for updates to the minister, post-spill reporting, and post-incident, “lessons learned” reports.
How ICBC is supporting you
To support ICBC-insured carriers in complying with the new legislation and regulations in the event of a spill, ICBC has entered into Master Services Agreements with the following five environmental response/remediation consultants:
These consultants share ICBC’s dedication to the environment and may provide expertise to ICBC-insured carriers in connection with certain losses that impact the environment. If you are involved with a spill or other loss impacting the environment, you are free to choose to hire an environmental response/remediation consultant to assist in fulfilling your obligations under the new legislation and regulations, including from among the above-noted ICBC business partners.
ICBC reminds carriers that with these new spill requirements, carriers are responsible for complying with all obligations under the new legislation and regulations including, as applicable, preparing, training, communicating and executing rapid spill response plans. It is essential that drivers and carriers know the steps to take in the event of a spill and who to contact and that all employees understand the full scope of their responsibilities should a spill occur.
Hiring an ICBC business partner
The benefit of hiring an ICBC business partner consultant is that in some cases, the consultant is able to send copies of an insured carrier’s invoices to ICBC for consideration of direct payment, excluding any GST for which the carrier is responsible. Once ICBC has reviewed and assessed your coverage, it will, subject to the result of the review, liaise directly with you and the consultant about the services the consultant is providing to assist you in meeting your statutory obligations.
If an ICBC-insured carrier chooses to hire its own environmental response/remediation consultant(s) to assist in fulfilling its obligations under the new legislation and regulations, the carrier is responsible for direct payment of all costs and may submit invoices to ICBC for consideration and reimbursement, excluding any GST for which the insured carrier is responsible.
Note: ICBC’s provision of a business-partner consultants’ information to an ICBC-insured carrier does not warrant payment of a claim by ICBC, and the carrier remains primarily responsible for all payment of invoicing until ICBC determines coverage availability.
Working with BCTA
ICBC is committed to supporting BCTA members and the carrier community should an ICBC-insured carrier be involved in a spill that impacts the environment.
For questions, contact ICBC Commercial Claims through the ICBC Claims Contact Centre 24/7 at 604-520-8222 or toll free at 1-800-910-4222.
ICBC has provided this article to BCTA members for information only, and the information it covers is limited. The article does not cover, and should not be construed as, legal advice.
Note: BCTA held the first meeting of our new Spill Response Committee on January 17, 2018. Committee members supported an invitation to the Ministry of Environment and ICBC to attend the next meeting to present, respectively, on the new spill response regulations and on the Master Services Agreements with the five consultants listed above. BCTA and the Spill Response Committee will also be developing a process document on becoming compliant with the new regulations to share with members. If you have questions, please contact Cory Paterson, BCTA Policy Director, at 604-888-5319 or (toll free in BC) 1-800-565-2282, ext. 211, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For background on the regulations and formation of the new committee, please see the following Bulletin articles: