Spills photo identifier

Spills Program

Mobile oil handling facilities

Class 2 Facilities

Mobile facilities are defined as tank trucks, railcars, and portable tanks.

Oil Transfer Requirements Operations Manual Inspections Traning & Certification Response Plans Drills

Oil Transfer Requirements

Oil transfer requirements refer to the procedures and equipment standard necessary for safe oil transfers. Here you will find information on necessary equipment, prebooming, advance notice of transfer, equivalence compliance, and alternative measures.

Operations Manual

The operations 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 your 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.

There is no specific formatting requirement for the manual, as it should be created to best suit the operators' needs. However, the manual must include:

  • A system of chapters and sections.
  • A plan for replacement of individual chapters.
  • Space for adding appendices.

Manual's must be submitted to Ecology for review 90 days prior to conducting an oil transfer.

For more information about the operations manual, review these resources:


Ecology ensures each Class 2 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 operations manual, training and certification program, and facility response plan. 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.

Training and Certification

The Training and Certification program refers to facility-developed criteria for proper training of personnel for safe facility operations.

Easy to print reference: Class 2 Training and Certification Program Compliance Review Checklist.

Response Plans

Response plans are currently required by federal requirements under 33 CFR Part 154, Subpart F. If you have an existing federal plan, there are new state standards that must be incorporated. The Mobile Facility Response Plan Preparation Guide can assist you in meeting both state and federal requirements for oil transfer response plans. Your plan will be reviewed by Ecology. There may be changes you need to make, but once the plan is complete, it will be approved. 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.

Review process:

  1. Submit response plan.
  2. Response plan will undergo a 30-60 day review period.
  3. If the plan is adequate it will be approved. If the plan has deficiencies it will receive conditional approval until the plan is corrected and resubmitted. Depending on the number and extent of deficiencies, plan holders will be given 30-120 days for re-submittal.
  4. Plans will be tested through drills.
For more information, please contact Jason Reichert at (360) 407-7390 or email at jason.reichert@ecy.wa.gov


Under the federal standards, most facilities are already required to participate in the National Preparedness and Response Program drill program called PREP. Under the state rules, you must also demonstrate your ability to effectively deploy the response equipment and provide emergency shutdown of transfers. Ecology will provide a written evaluation of your drills. Through planning, you can meet both requirements by:

  • Scheduling your drills through the Ecology drill calendar.
  • Communicate with Ecology to make sure a representative can be there to evaluate.
  • Work with Ecology to design a drill that meets both federal and state standards.

Ecology's goal is to conduct drills and evaluate each company annually. If the schedule drills cannot be accomplished, unannounced drills will be used to reach this goal.

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