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Spills Program

Contingency Plans

Washington state requires larger oil handling facilities, pipelines, commercial vessels, and railroads to have state-approved oil spill contingency plans. These plans describe the plan holder's ability to respond to oil spills.

A contingency plan outlines what is necessary to ensure a rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated response to an oil spill. A plan includes:

  • Procedures to immediately activate response teams and resources.
  • Identification of spill management teams.
  • Analysis of planning standards and worst-case spill (WCS) volume to assess necessary response needs.
  • Appropriate response equipment and personnel for respondiong to a worst-case spill.
  • Identification of oil types and properties.
  • Contracts with primary response contractors (PRCs) to provide necessary response equipment and personnel.
  • Commitment for drills to test the plan.


Technical assistance Get help developing your plan.
Planning standards Develop spreadsheets for your plan.
State-approved plans Current plans and plan holders
Primary Response Contractors (PRCs) Often used by plan holders to provide response support teams and equipment
Toolkit Forms, documents, and links for spills and drills

Public Review

When a new plan is submitted to Ecology for review, it is made available for a 30-day public comment period. Subscribe to the Spills listserv to be notified when plans are available for public review.

More Information

Rules (WACs) and laws (RCWs) governing contingency planning:


Sean Orr
Plan Development Lead

Nhi Irwin
Plan Development and Review Supervisor