The Department of Ecology (Ecology) is seeking public comment
on a set of three proposed rules designed to prevent oil spills into
Washington waters and to improve response readiness.
Ecology is proposing to update state rules regarding how oil will be
transferred over water involving tank vessels, cargo and passenger
ships, oil storage facilities, marinas and, for the first time, tank
trucks and rail cars.
The proposed rules establish spill prevention and response standards for
facility and vessel operators who transfer oil to or from vessels. The
draft rules would require operators to follow safe oil transfer
practices to prevent spills.
Under the proposal, some vessels and oil-handling facilities would be
required to deploy oil-spill containment boom prior to transferring oil.
In addition, the new rules would expand Ecology's current oil transfer
inspection program, adding more field inspectors to oversee fueling
The department is also proposing to update the state oil spill
contingency plan rule that requires tank vessels, cargo and passenger
ships, oil storage facilities, and pipeline companies to demonstrate
that they can mount an effective, timely response if they spill oil. The
proposed rule focuses on early spill response actions, staging response
equipment throughout the state, and conducting scheduled and unannounced
spill readiness drills.