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Spills Program

Oil Transfer Requirements for Class 2 Facilities

Oil transfer requirements refer to the procedures and equipment standards necessary for safe oil transfers. To assist with compliance a Class 2 delivering facility transfer checklist is provided.


Equipment Requirements PreBooming Requirements Alternative Measures Equivalent Compliance Advance Notice of Transfer

Equipment Requirements

  • Visually inspect all hoses, piping and transfer equipment to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Have the right type and amount of onsite response equipment, such as personal protective equipment, sorbents, containment boom, and other appropriate gear. Make sure it is easily accessible.
  • Make sure proper communication equipment is available, for example two-way radios, air horns, and pre-identified hand signals.

Pre-booming Requirements

Mobile facilities may choose to either pre-boom or use alternative measures to safeguard oil transfer operations.

If a Class 2 facility chooses to pre-boom, boom must completely surround the vessel and facility/dock area directly involved in the oil transfer operation. There is some requirement flexibility for facilities transferring in specific environments, such as rivers. In environments where spilled oil will always travel in one direction, such as rivers, the facility may boom where it will provide maximum containment of oil spilled. This means that in this situation the facility may boom on the down-river side of the transfer. However, facilities cannot simply boom under the transfer hose/manifold area only. Booming only under the transfer manifolds would not provide for maximum containment of any oil spilled outside of this narrowly boomed area.

Delivering Class 2 mobile facilities 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.

Rate A* transfers are required to preboom unless it is unsafe. If unsafe, then Rate A must meet the approved alternative measures. If the transfer is a Rate B**, then the deliverer has the option to preboom or use alternative measures to meet response requirements. For additional alternative measures requirements see WAC 173-180-221 and 222.

Delivering class 2 facilities conducting a Rate A transfer must:

  • 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.).
  • Be able to deploy an additional 500 feet of boom available on scene for containment, protection and recovery within one hour of notification of a spill.

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


Alternative Measures

If the facility elects not to pre-boom there are alternative measures that must be taken. The alternative measures for a Rate B** transfer differ from those of a Rate A* transfer.

Specifically, delivering class 2 facilities conducting a Rate B transfer must:

  • Have access to boom long enough to surround the vessel(s) and dock area involved in the transfer, providing for maximum containment. This means that you either must own that amount of boom or have an agreement with a contractor who owns that much boom. This is an example of a planning standard. If a spill occurs, you must bring that boom to the spill location within the 1 and 2 hour timeframes.
  • 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.).
  • Be able to deploy 500 feet of boom for containment, protection and recovery within one hour of notification of a spill.
  • Have an additional 500 feet of boom available on scene for containment, protection and recovery within two hours of notification of a spill.

Equivalent Compliance Measures

Class 2 facilities can propose innovative or special measures to be taken in place of alternative measures. Called an equivalent compliance plan, it must be submitted to Ecology for review and approval before it can be used as a substitute for alternative measures. To be approved, the equivalent compliance plan should be site-specific and must provide protection that is equivalent or better than the alternative measures.


Advance Notice of Transfer

An advance notice of oil transfer (ANT) is required to be submitted to Ecology by the delivering facility (fixed or mobile) 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 mobile facilities. See WAC chapters 173-184-100 and 173-180-215 for details.


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