10/10/2013 02:12 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

B.C. Oil Spill Study Urges Federal Help

VICTORIA - The British Columbia government says a study it commissioned to assess preparedness in case of a major marine spill concludes federal resources are needed to protect the west coast.

The province says it will push Ottawa for changes to ensure world-class regulations are in place before considering heavy oil pipelines in B.C.

That's one of the five conditions the province has stated must be met before it considers such projects.

A federal joint environmental review panel is currently considering the proposed $6-billion Northern Gateway pipeline project estimated to carry 550,000 barrels of heavy oil a day from Alberta to a tanker port in Kitimat, B.C., for shipment to Asia.

Critics and First Nations fear marine spills from the oil-carrying tankers plying west coast waters.

Last March, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver announced a series of measures to improve oil tanker safety off Canadian coasts, including administrative penalties for polluters and mandatory marine response plans for oil terminal operators.

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