Spills photo identifier

Spills Program

2014 Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study

The Governor’s 2014 budget provided one-time funding for Ecology to conduct a Marine and Rail Oil Transportation Study. The objective of the study was to analyze the risks to public health and safety, and the environmental impacts associated with the transport of oil in Washington state.

The study informs the Spills Program, Governor and the Legislature by focusing oil movement by vessel, and rail. The study identifies information gaps in the existing oil transportation system and ways to address the risk. It provides public health/safety and environmental protection recommendations for appropriate federal, state, local agencies, or the private sector/industry.

Scope of Study

Puget Sound, Grays Harbor, and the Columbia River were included in the study. The inland portion included the entire oil transportation corridor. The study looks at:

  • the current and anticipated transportation pictures for marine and rail.
  • the current and anticipated safety pictures for marine and rail.
  • any existing gaps.


The following worked with Ecology on the study:

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission; Emergency Management Division; tribes; other federal, state, and local agencies; informal and formal public and private committees; organizations; industry; and the public.


Click on the timeline for a larger view.


Scope of Study (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions

Oil Transport Maps

Related Studies

Inland GRPs

Washington Oil Observer Newsletter

Study Meeting Summaries

US DOT Order on Oil Notification


Video showing a unit car oil train passing through Carkeek Park in Seattle. The train contains 100 car units and is carrying approximately 2,900,000 gallons of crude oil.


Marine and Rail Transportation Study Presentation

Changing Energy Picture Presentation


Lisa Copeland
Communications Manager
(360) 407-6990

Scott Ferguson
Prevention Section Manager
(360) 407-7465

Follow us on Twitter