Department of Ecology News Release - November 18, 2015

Developing new rules for transporting oil
Ecology begins implementing 2015 Oil Transportation Safety Act

OLYMPIA –As early as next year, companies transporting oil into or through Washington could be required to improve planning for accidents under new regulations being developed by the Washington Department of Ecology.

Ecology is beginning the process to develop two new rules for companies that move and/or receive oil by pipeline or railroad. These new regulations are part of the process to implement the 2015 Oil Transportation Safety Act.

“These rules will help ensure public safety and environmental protection,” said Dale Jensen, Ecology’s Spills program manager. “Emergency responders will have more information, better resources, and training to respond to incidents in a rapid, aggressive, and well-coordinated manner.”

One rule would establish requirements for facilities receiving crude oil to provide weekly advance notice to Ecology on the movement of crude oil, and for pipelines to provide biannual notice to Ecology. The rule will also identify the manner and types of information Ecology will disclose to emergency responders, tribal and local governments, and the public.

The other rule lays out requirements for how railroads transporting oil in bulk position spill response equipment, sets standards for spill response staffing, training and operations, and establishes a spill response drill program with evaluation standards.

Ecology will be working with the public, local governments, tribal governments and other stakeholders throughout the rulemaking process. Multiple workshops will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to submit written comments on any preliminary rule language before the formal rule is issued.

More information about how Ecology is implementing the 2015 Oil Transportation Safety Act is available on its oil movement webpages, including frequently asked questions and anticipated timelines. To stay informed about the rulemaking process and opportunities for public input, please sign up for email updates.


Lisa Copeland, Ecology communications, 360-407-6990, @EcyWA