Spills photo identifier

Spills Program

Oil Transfer Requirements for Class 1 Facilities

Oil transfer requirements refer to the procedures and equipment standards necessary for safe oil transfers. For an overview of the requirements, read the general oil transfer requirements for facilities and vessels focus sheet.


PreBooming Requirements Alternative Measures Advance Notice of Transfer Safe & Effective Threshold Values Equivalent Compliance



Pre-Booming

Class 1 facilities delivering oil must pre-boom oil transfers when transferring at rate A* and when it is safe and effective to pre-boom. If transferring at rate B**, the facility can choose to either pre-boom or use alternative measures to safeguard the operation.

If the facility chooses to pre-boom, the boom must completely surround the vessel and facility/dock area directly involved in the oil transfer operation. However, there is flexibility for facilities transferring in specific environments, such as rivers. In environments where spilled oil will always travel in one direction, such as in a river, the facility may boom where it will provide maximum containment of oil spilled. This means that in a river the facility may boom on the down-river side of the transfer. Facilities cannot simply boom under the transfer hose/manifold area as that would not provide for maximum containment of any oil spilled outside of this narrowly boomed area.

Class 1 facilities conducting rate A transfers must have access to boom four times the length of the largest vessel involved in the transfer or 2000 feet, whichever is less. If a Class 1 facility elects to pre-boom a rate B transfer, the facility must have enough boom to completely surround the vessel and facility/dock area directly involved in the oil transfer operation, or the area which would provide for maximum containment of any oil spilled into the water. All boom and related equipment must be of the appropriate size and design for the environmental conditions at the site based on the manufacturer’s specifications. In the event of an emergency, the delivering facility must be able to quickly disconnect all containment boom.

If multiple products are transferred simultaneously and one of the products transferred is not appropriate for pre-booming (gasoline for example), then the alternative measures criteria must be met for the portion of the transfer which is inappropriate to pre-boom. All portions of the transfer which can be safely and effectively pre-boomed must be pre-boomed. For additional pre-booming requirements refer to WAC 173-180-221 and 222.

*Rate A - Operations transferring oil over 500 gallons per minute.
**Rate B - Operations transferring oil at 500 gallons per minute or less.

Additional resources: Focus on pre-booming requirements, alternatives and equivalent compliance for oil handling facilities.


Alternative measures

Alternative measures can be taken when it is not safe and effective for a class 1 facility to pre-boom a rate A transfer, or a facility elects not to pre-boom a rate B transfer. Rate A and rate B transfer alternative measures can differ.

For rate A transfers, a delivering class 1 facility must:

  • Complete and submit Ecology’s Boom Reporting form via email or fax.
  • Have access to boom four times the length of the largest vessel involved in the transfer or 2000 feet, whichever is less.
  • Have personnel trained in the proper use and maintenance of boom and recovery equipment.
  • Have enough recovery equipment readily available on-site for a seven-barrel spill (i.e. containers, shovels, absorbent materials, storage capacity, etc.).
  • Have the ability to safely track the spill in low visibility conditions. The tracking system must able to be on-scene within thirty minutes of being made aware of a spill.
  • Within one hour of notification of a spill, be able to completely surround the vessel(s) and dock area with containment boom.
  • Within two hours of notification of a spill, have additional boom four times the length of the largest vessel involved in the transfer or 2000 feet ,whichever is less, available for containment, protection and recovery.
  • Within two hours of notification of a spill, have an operable skimming system available on site with fifty barrels recovery and one hundred barrels of storage capacity.

For Rate B transfers, a delivering class 1 facility must:

  • Have access to boom long enough to surround the vessel(s) and dock area involved in the transfer, providing for maximum containment.
  • Have personnel trained in the proper use and maintenance of boom and recovery equipment.
  • Have recovery equipment available on site for a two-barrel spill (i.e. containers, shovels, absorbent materials, storage capacity, etc.).
  • Within one hour of notification of a spill, be able to deploy 500 feet of boom for containment, protection and recovery.
  • Within two hours of notification of a spill, have an additional 500 feet of boom available on scene for containment, protection and recovery.
  • For additional alternative measures requirements see WACs 173-180-221 and 222.

Advance notice of transfer

An Advanced Notice of Transfer (ANT) is required to be submitted to Ecology by the delivering facility or vessel which is transferring over 100 gallons of bulk oil to a non-recreational vessel or facility. The ANT must be submitted 24 hours prior to the transfer by class 1 facilities. See WAC chapters 173-184-100 and 173-180-215 for details.


Safe and effective threshold values

During rate A transfers, facility owners or operators are required to determine the “threshold values” beyond which they believe pre-booming may be unsafe or ineffective. Such factors may include:

  • Sea and wave conditions.
  • Wind speed.
  • Current velocity, and so on, for any other pertinent conditions.

Facilities must submit a safe and effective threshold determination report to Ecology for review and approval for each location at which the delivering vessel plans to conduct rate A transfers. Reports are valid for 5 years.

This report contains the environmental threshold values for determining when it is safe and effective to pre-boom and may also contain the environmental threshold values for shutting down the transfer operation. It is a detailed analysis based on environmental data collected on the site and the boom manufacturer’s recommendations for effectiveness. The delivering vessel operator must also take into account the safety of the personnel involved in the possible pre-booming deployment.

Report requirements can be found in WAC 173-180-224.

Here is additional guidance on how to prepare a proposed safe and effective threshold determination report. It contains the review process and checklists.

To comment and review safe and effective threshold determination reports during the 30 day public comment period, visit our public comment page.


Equivalent compliance

An equivalent compliance plan must be submitted 120 prior to planned use of the proposed equivalent measures. The plan must be reviewed and approved by Ecology before it can be used as a substitute for alternative measures. To be approved, the plan should be site-specific and must provide protection that is equivalent or better than the alternative measures.

An equivalent compliance plan cannot be used as a substitute for pre-booming requirements. rate A transfers at Class 1 facilities must be pre-boomed if it is safe and effective to do so. An approved equivalent compliance plan does not relieve the facility from pre-booming requirements, but it can be used as a substitute for the appropriate rate A or rate B alternative measures.


View an interactive map of oil transfers in Washington.
Oil transfers in Washington