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Spills Program

Contingency Planning

Large oil-handling facilities, pipelines, and commercial vessels are required to have a spill contingency plan. They are a "game plan" which outlines how plan holders will prepare for and respond to oil spills.

A contingency plan includes:

  • Notification and call out procedures to ensure response teams and resources are activated immediately.
  • Identification of spill teams necessary to manage a spill or incident response.
  • Analysis of the planning standards and "worst case" spill volume to assess response needs.
  • Appropriate response equipment and personnel to respond to a "worst case" spill.
  • Identification of oil types and properties.
  • Agreements with primary response contractors to provide spill response equipment and necessary personnel.
  • Commitment to test plan using tabletop or deployment drills.
  • Evaluation of technical manuals.
Plans that have been approved or are under public review, including Ecology's response to submitted comments. Plan Holder Technical Assistance

Planning standards require a company to demonstrate they have access to adequate containment boom, recovery equipment, and storage to contain and clean-up the oil. The amount and type of response equipment necessary is based on the worst case spill volume for company operations. Plan holders often use contractors to provide additional response equipment and cleanup support. Plans are tested for adequacy through scheduled or announced tabletop and on-water drills.

When a new plan is submitted to Ecology for review, it is made available for a 30-day public comment period. You can view current plans, expiration dates, and plans open for public comment. If you would like to be notified when plans are available for public review subscribe to the Washington state LISTSERV, or contact the Spills Program at 360-407-7455.

For more information on contingency planning contact:
Sean Orr
Sean.Orr@ecy.wa.gov, Plan Development Lead, 360-407-7420

Linda Pilkey-Jarvis
Linda.Pilkey-Jarvis@ecy.wa.gov, Preparedness Section Manager, 360-407-7447.