Department of Ecology News Release - September 30, 2016

Ecology offers grants to upgrade oil spill response equipment

OLYMPIA – In an effort to help emergency responders buy oil spill response equipment, the Washington Department of Ecology is offering $777,000 in grants to public agencies and tribal governments starting Oct. 1. The grant program will help first responders purchase oil spill, hazardous materials response, and firefighting equipment they could not otherwise afford.

"We encourage any public agency with a community at risk for oil spills and hazardous materials incidents to apply for a grant," said Dale Jensen, Ecology Spills program manager. "By distributing this type of help, we're reducing response times, improving equipment use, and increasing response coordination with other agencies and partners statewide."

Ecology implemented a similar program in 2006 and distributed $1.45 million in new oil spill equipment to nearly 100 key locations across the state. In a deployment of grant-purchased equipment during a marina fire in 2007, first responders successfully contained over 7,000 gallons of fuel, saving over $1 million in cleanup costs.

The grants are part of Gov. Jay Inslee's 2015 Oil Transportation Safety Act. Cities, counties, ports, tribal governments and other public agencies and districts are eligible to apply.

Funding is based on the greatest need for equipment and coordinated to maximize the benefit of currently available resources. Grant awards will be selected by the ability and willingness of an agency to deploy equipment and the proximity of existing equipment.

A workgroup led by Ecology will evaluate applications. The workgroup will include first responders, oil spill response cooperatives, oil and rail industry representatives, and businesses that receive liquid bulk crude oil. Grant applications will be accepted Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, and awards will be announced in January 2017.

To apply for a grant, attend a workshop, or learn more about the program, visit the website at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/OilMovement/EquipCacheGrant.html.

Contact:

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

Laura Hayes, project manager, 360-407-7485