Department of Ecology News Release - March 9, 2015

Oil trains, trucks and pipelines
Preparing for oil spills to Moses Lake and Crab Creek

MOSES LAKE – Transporting oil safely continues to be a hot topic nationally and at the state level as lawmakers seek the best ways to protect citizens and the environment.

The Washington Department of Ecology recently completed a draft contingency plan in case an oil spill occurs in the Moses Lake/Crab Creek area. The plan is available for public review and comment now through April 3, 2015.

Moses Lake/Crab Creek is plentiful in natural, cultural, and economic resources. The area covered in the plan includes all of Moses Lake and more than 125 miles of Crab Creek. The plan also encompasses the city of Moses Lake to an area just west of Reardan.

The draft plan includes approximately 45 strategies meant to reduce injury to sensitive natural, cultural and economic resources during an oil spill. The strategies take into account the following risks, but are not limited to:

"This is an area we haven’t formally focused on in the past," said Kathy Taylor, acting Spills program manager. "Given the rapid changes in the way oil is transported through our state – specifically in the past few years – it’s important that we get these plans in place.”

Much of the work to produce the plan, also known as a geographic response plan (GRP), and others like it throughout the state, is augmented by special funding from last year’s legislative session. Lawmakers dedicated funding to increase the state’s efforts to prepare for oil spills. The Moses Lake/Crab Creek plan is one of eight plans Ecology aims to complete before June 30, 2015.

The comment period runs through April 3, 2015. All comments received will be reviewed and considered before the final version of the plan is produced. Comments can be emailed to grps@ecy.wa.gov, or mail them:

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

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Contact:

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

Harry Chichester, preparedness lead, 360-407-7202