Spills photo identifier

Spills Program

Prevention Recommendations

Since 1998, Ecology has made over 900 recommendations to approximately 160 parties involved in a spill incident, regulatory agencies, and third parties as a result lessons learned from investigated incidents. There is no requirement that Ecology's recommendations be implemented. However, approximately a quarter to a third of Ecology's recommendations have been accepted.

The specific lessons learned as a result of investigations vary. Ecology has generally found that most spills and close-calls (upwards of 80 percent) result from people and organizational problems. Visit Ecology's vessel incident cause data page for more information on primary and immediate causes of spills from vessels.

Ecology's investigations promote lessons learned from past incidents in two main forms, case studies and single issue safety advisory bulletins.

Case studies


Safety Advisory Bulletins

Oil handling

Human factors

Underway vessel operations

Vessel and equipment maintenance