The Washington State Department
of Ecology released proposed Oil Spill Contingency Plan Regulations. The proposed rules would totally replace the current ones and are intended to ensure that ship owners and operators and oil handling facilities demonstrate
they can quickly and effectively respond to oil spills
. The proposed rule focuses on early spill response actions, staging response equipment throughout
the state, and conducting scheduled and unannounced spill readiness drills. The Preliminary Cost Benefit Analysis estimates the annual cost of the proposed rule to be $6.8 million. Compliance benefits are estimated to be in the range of $20 million to $159 million (that is a large range and it assumes that these proposed rules would prevent an Exxon Valdez
-type spill). Public meetings on the proposal will be held in Pasco (July 11), Vancouver (July 13), Port Angeles
(July 15), Bellingham (July 18), and SeaTac (July 19). Comments on the proposal should be submitted by July 26.
Source: HK Law