Diesel leakage near Bella Bella reveals B.C. has long way to go to achieve world-class oil spill response

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      A sunken tugboat in Seaforth Channel has raised more questions about the wisdom of proceeding with the Kinder Morgan and Enbridge pipelines.

      After 12 days, officials have been unable to contain a diesel spill from the Nathan E. Stewart in an ecologically sensitive area on B.C.'s central coast.

      Over the weekend, booms surrounding the fuel failed in choppy seas, enabling the oil to seep across the water.

      As a result, the Heiltsuk First Nation's traditional seafood-harvesting area has been soaked with poisons.

      On online fundraising campaign has generated $10,000 in donations for indigenous people in the area.

      In a news release yesterday, the Heiltsuk quoted the U.S. based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, which says: “Diesel is considered to be one of the most acutely toxic oil types. Fish, invertebrates and seaweed that come in direct contact with a diesel spill may be killed.”

      The problems associated with this relatively small diesel spill have raised questions about what would happen should a large oil tanker run aground along B.C.'s rugged coastline.

      Heiltsuk councillor Jess Housty's Twitter feed includes several shocking images, which you can see below: