Department of Ecology News Release - March 1, 2017

Oil spill response workshop March 16 in Union Gap
Responders eye methods to protect Yakima River in case of a spill

UNION GAP  – Emergency responders, firefighters, civic leaders and tribal representatives are invited to participate in a training that offers a behind-the-scenes view of how to respond and protect the Yakima River, local communities and resources should a major oil spill occur.

State and federal agencies are hosting the workshop from 1-4 p.m. March 16, at the Washington Department of Ecology’s central regional office at 1250 W. Alder St. The workshop is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

There will be a discussion of the newly developed Yakima River Geographic Response Plan that focuses on increasing oil-spill readiness to protect sensitive natural, cultural, and economic sites during an oil spill.

Attendees will have the opportunity to provide local insight and comments while viewing and engaging in discussion.

The workshop has been organized and sponsored by the Washington Department of Ecology, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Bureau of Reclamation. Representatives from each agency will discuss their roles and responsibilities, the environmental impact of oil spills, how response efforts can be made more effective, and how state and federal funding mechanisms are used during oil spills. The Bureau of Reclamation will also present on the unique aspects of the Yakima River Valley irrigation system operations.

“Understanding roles in local planning jurisdictions can speed up a response and help make sure critical resources are protected when big oil spills happen,” said Dale Jensen, Ecology Spills program. “We are excited about this opportunity to inform more folks and help communities become more aware.”

Contact:

Joye Redfield-Wilder, communications, 509-575-2610; @ecycentral
Josie Clark, Environmental Protection Agency, 206-553-6239, clark.josie@epa.gov
Erika Lopez
, Bureau of Reclamation, 208-378-5101, ealopez@usbr.gov