Department of Ecology News Release - August 28, 2014

Oil spill response plan for Lake Washington complete

SEATTLE – New spill response strategies for Lake Washington will help crews respond quickly in the event of an oil spill in Lake Washington and adjacent waters.

This week, the Washington Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Lake Washington Geographic Response Plan (GRP), which contains site-specific, oil spill response strategies.

The Lake Washington GRP is one of 20 GRPs in the state designed to protect sensitive, natural, cultural, and economic resources from oil spills. The plans give response agencies and contractors ready-to-use strategies to be able to respond to spills quickly.

The Lake Washington plan covers shoreline and nearshore areas from Renton to Kenmore and Bellevue to Seattle. It includes portions of the Sammamish River and other tributaries. The plan also completes one of the nine GRPs Ecology is aiming to develop with the one-time funding and staffing allocated by the 2014 Legislative session.

The Lake Washington GRP is part of a larger spill response plan called the Northwest Area Contingency Plan (NWACP) for Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The NWACP functions as Washington state’s master plan for responding to and cleaning up oil spills and hazardous substance releases. It is maintained by committee members, which includes the U.S. Coast Guard, EPA, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho State Emergency Response Commission, and Ecology.

Ecology solicited public comments on the draft plan earlier this year. Work to create the plan began in January 2013.

“We appreciate the feedback,” said Dale Jensen, Spills Program Manager. “It helps us develop a plan that encompasses input from citizens, tribal governments, local officials – all the people that live, work and thrive in the area. We also appreciate the help and support we received from King County, local municipalities, EPA Region 10, and other state agencies.”

The Lake Washington Geographic Response Plan contains specific spill response measures like oil-containment booming plans for key sites. It establishes priorities based on potential oil spill locations and the proximity of sensitive resources to them.

Jensen said all of the strategies within the plan support Ecology’s goal of a rapid, aggressive, and well coordinated response to oil spills.

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Contacts:

Linda Pilkey Jarvis, preparedness manager, 360-407-7447, linda.pilkey-jarvis@ecy.wa.gov

Lisa Copeland, communications, 360-407-6990, Lisa.Copeland@ecy.wa.gov, @ecologyWA