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Spills Program

Class 3 oil handling facilities

Class 3 Facilities (Small Tank Farms & Terminals)

The Class 3 oil handling facility category applies to small tank farms and terminals that transfer oil to non-recreational vessels that have a fuel capacity of 10,500 gallons or more. This definition does not include facilities that transfer to tank vessels and pipelines, as they are Class 1 facilities.

Vessels considered "non-recreational" are owned and operated for monetary gain. It also may be leased, rented or chartered to another and used for monetary gain. This definition is based on the vessel’s use, not its size. Examples of non-recreational vessels are: sightseeing or tour boats, passenger vessels, chartered fishing boats, boats used for parasailing, tug boats, etc.

Oil Transfer Requirements Operations Manual Inspections Response Plans

Oil Transfer Requirements

All Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 facilities delivering oil in bulk to non-recreational vessels or pipelines must meet state facility oil transfer requirements in WAC chapter 173-180.

Easy to print reference information:

Operations Manual

Operations manuals are a federal requirement under 33 CFR Part 154. These are regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard, not Ecology. The manual refers to the written guidelines, procedures, and equipment references that facility personnel use during normal operations and how to troubleshoot issues when problems may occur. Further, it describes the oil handling products, processes, and precautions taken by the facility. It provides a one-stop reference containing all of the facility’s procedures for transferring oil in a safe, consistent, and environmentally sound manner.


Ecology ensures through onsite inspection that each Class 3 facility is in compliance with state and federal requirements found in WAC 173-180, and 33 CFR 154 and 156 respectively, and consistent with their oil transfer operations manual. Inspections typically involve transfer equipment condition, maintenance, and operational review of on-site activities. The inspector will review any issues found with the persons in charge at the site and may send a letter detailing significant issues found during the inspection. Facilities can use Ecology's inspection checklist to verify that oil transfer procedures and equipment are in compliance.

Response Plans

Response plans are a federal requirement under 33 CFR Part 154. These are regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard, not Ecology. The response plan is a tool that you will use during a spill response. It is important the plan be accurate, easy to use and legally correct.

For more information, please contact Jason Reichert at (360) 407-7390 or email at jason.reichert@ecy.wa.gov

View an interactive map of oil transfer facilities in Washington.
Oil transfer facilities in Washington

Regional Office Contacts

  • Northwest Regional Office: (425) 649-7000
  • Bellingham Field Office: (360) 715-5200
  • Southwest Region/Ecology Headquarters: (360) 407-7455
  • Vancouver Field Office: (360) 690-7171