Response Organizations

Ships that transit Canadian waters are required to have a shipboard oil pollution emergency plan, as well as an arrangement with a certified response organization that would respond to a spill on the polluter's behalf. Response organizations are certified every three years by Transport Canada.

In addition, oil handling facilities or anyone who loads and unloads oil and oil products are required to have an oil pollution emergency plan, as well as response equipment on site during the transfer.

Oil handling facilities and ships both pay an annual fee to response organizations to maintain the level of preparedness to respond to a spill in the event that they have one. It is based on a partnership with industry.

Under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, the Response Organizations and Oil Handling Facilities Regulations outline the procedures, equipment and resources of response organizations and oil handling facilities for use in respect of an oil pollution incident. The Response Organization Standards, TP 12401, outline the parameters within which these organizations must respond.

In Canada, there are four certified response agencies. The map below indicates the areas for which each of these agencies is responsible:

  • Atlantic Emergency Response Team ( ALERT ): 
    350 Bayside Dr.
    Saint John, NB
    E2J 4Y8
    Telephone: (506) 202-4499

  • Eastern Canada Response Corporation Ltd.:
    1201 - 275 Slater Street
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Telephone: (613) 230-7369
    Fax: (613) 230-7344

  • Western Canada Marine Response Corporation 
    206-3500 Gilmore Way
    Burnaby, BC
    V5G 0B8

  • Point Tupper Marine Services Ltd. ( PTMS ):
    Point Tupper
    Point Tuppers, NS
    B9A 1Z5
    Telephone: (902) 625-1711