Jul. 2, 2015 More areas of the state prepared for oil spills

Plans in place for rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated responses

OLYMPIA – Nine new geographic response plans (GRPs) – designed to guide responses to oil spills – are complete, fulfilling direction from the 2014 Legislature.

Lawmakers provided special, one-time funding so the Department of Ecology could develop response plans for specific areas of the state. The plans include tactical response strategies and are tailored to particular shores or waterways at risk of injury from oil.

“Given the increase of oil transported by rail in the past three to four years, it’s important we identify all of our resources at risk from oil spills,” said Dale Jensen, program manager.

“We’ve done exceptionally well preparing on the marine side, and now we are prioritizing response strategies that provide the same efforts within the inland areas of our state.”

Ecology collected public comments (for at least 30 days) on each plan prior to its publication for the following areas:

· Lake Washington

· Lake Chelan

· Lower Columbia River

· Middle Columbia River

· Clark/Cowlitz counties

· Chehalis

· Nisqually

· Moses Lake

· Green River/Duwamish

Geographic response plans are developed in partnership with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of a regional response team and committee.