Department of Ecology News Release - February 4, 2015

Preparing for oil spills to Lake Chelan
Have your say – agency accepting public comments through March 4, 2015

OLYMPIA – New strategies that aim to protect Lake Chelan communities and waters from oil spills are now available for public review. Washington Department of Ecology planners are preparing for spills in new areas in and around Washington, and they are currently focusing on risks to Lake Chelan.

For the first time, Ecology has drafted a geographic response plan (GRP) for the lake, and is interested in community feedback on the draft plan.

This is an opportunity to review a plan that aims to protect the waters people enjoy, waterfront parks where children play, and the natural environment that benefits everyone. Community input is an important component of how well response plans are developed.

“Like the communities around the lake, we value the natural resources the lake offers with its numerous parks and boat launches,” said Kathy Taylor, acting spills program manager. “We hope that a major spill never happens here, but it’s important that we’re prepared for one if we want to protect this valuable resource.”

Pre-planning for oil spills is the best preventive action to protect the environment. GRPs are designed to help responders take immediate action to reduce the impact of spilled oil on sensitive natural, cultural and economic resources during the early hours of an oil spill and beyond.

When finalized, the Lake Chelan GRP will be one of 19 published oil spill response plans in Washington. 

The comment period runs through March 4, 2015. All comments received will be reviewed and considered before the final version of the plan is produced.

The draft Lake Chelan GRP can be reviewed at Ecology’s website. Comments on the plan can be emailed to GRPs@ecy.wa.gov or mailed to:

Washington Department of Ecology
Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (GRPs)
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA  98504-7600

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Contact:

Lisa Copeland, communications, 360-407-6990, @ecologyWA