Oil Spill off Newfoundland Needs Arms-length Investigation

Picture of an oil derrick

Four days after the largest oil spill in Newfoundland's offshore oil industry, there is still no way for regulators or industry to contain the spill. It took three days for it to be safe to launch an undersea device to estimate its impacts. We need to do better. 

The spill occurred one day after record-breaking waves shook the coast of Newfoundland. Despite the high seas, Husky Energy attempted to start-up drilling, even though waves measured seven metres high or 22 feet.

In 2017, this same operation had a near miss with an iceberg and did not bother to disconnect from the wellhead to prevent a possible disaster.

In that incident, The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, the regulator meant to police the industry, took months to take action against Husky.

There is something seriously wrong when, in an industry as high stakes as offshore oil and gas, activities can proceed when there is no hope of measuring the damage, never mind contain it.

There is also something seriously wrong when, in the face of the global climate change emergency, our governments are doing everything it can to facilitate - not regulate - the offshore oil and gas industry in Atlantic Canada.

Clearly, not enough is being done to stop a potentially devastating spill in our offshore

As a first step in creating much-needed reforms. please join us in calling for an independent review of this latest spill, including the role of the regulators meant to prevent such accidents from happening in the first place.

Thank you!

Gretchen Fitzgerald - National Program Director