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Canadian Coast Guard Announces Significant Environmental Protection Operation

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/26/13 -- The Canadian Coast Guard today announced that it will undertake a significant environmental response operation due to the deteriorating condition of the sunken World War II United States Army Transport vessel, the Brigadier General M.G. Zalinski.

"The Canadian Coast Guard is committed to protecting the safety of Canadians and protecting the environment," said the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, Mr. Marc Gregoire. "Throughout the operation, we look forward to engaging and collaborating with our partners to ensure the operation proceeds successfully."

The vessel ran aground during a storm and sank in 1946 in the Grenville Channel, about 100 km south of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. It is lodged upside down in 34 metres of water about 20 metres from shore.

The Canadian Coast Guard has been monitoring the vessel since its discovery in 2003, and has taken measures to conduct emergency repairs to prevent and stop any leaking oil. However, as the state of the vessel deteriorates, the Coast Guard has determined that to prevent any harm to the environment, a significant operation should be undertaken to remove the oil from the vessel.

The Canadian Coast Guard will be the on-scene commander for the duration of the operation, directing the recovery and the removal of marine pollutants from the vessel and actively monitoring the operation. The Canadian Coast Guard has also engaged the province of British Columbia and local First Nations groups to solicit their feedback on the operation.

On July 26, 2013, Public Works and Government Services Canada posted two requests for proposal seeking a third-party to conduct the oil removal operation and oil spill response services to assist in the case that any oil leaks from the vessel as the operation progresses.

It is expected that the operation will begin in September 2013 and will conclude in December 2013.

For further information on the operation: Zalinski Operation

For broadcast:

The Canadian Coast Guard today announced that the government will undertake a significant environmental response operation to prevent the potential release of pollution from a sunken World War II vessel, the Brigadier General M.G. Zalinski.

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Dan Bate
Communications, Pacific Region

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Sophie Doucet
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister

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