Washington Passes New Oil Spill Measures

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Gov. Christine Gregoire on May 6, 2005, signed bills that will establish an Oil Spill Monitoring and Oversight Council to provide independent oversight of the state's oil-spill program and a new Washington Academy of Sciences to advise state government on scientific questions.

“We are taking positive action today to ensure that our waters are protected from pollution,” Gregoire said at a bill signing ceremony held in Tukwila. “The new advisory council represents a partnership of industry, government and local communities in our efforts to prevent oil spills.”

The new 16-member oil-spill council will:

· Provide early consultation with government decision makers regarding the state's oil-spill prevention, preparedness and response programs, and

· Promote opportunities for the public to become involved in oil-spill response activities.

The new academy of sciences will include highly qualified persons in a wide range of scientific disciplines who are willing to contribute their time and expertise for assessments of complex public policy questions. The presidents of the University of Washington and Washington State University are charged with organizing the academy.

“This academy will provide the Legislature and me with an independent source for scientific analysis and recommendations on some of our thorniest policy issues,” Gregoire said. “This will lead to better decisions and enhanced public trust that we are utilizing the best available science in our work.”

The new academy is expected to be formed by 2007.

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