A "tank vessel" is defined as any ship that is constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue [RCW 88.46.010(20)]. The following links provide information on requirements for tank vessels operating in Washington State waters.
Oil transfer requirements refer to the procedures and equipment necessary for safe oil transfers. There are two types of oil transfers - vessels delivering oil to a facility and
vessels delivering oil to another vessel. Vessels delivering oil to a facility will follow the oil
transfer requirements for facilities. Vessels delivering oil to another vessel will follow
oil transfer requirements for vessels.
Ecology does not require that tank vessels have spill prevention plans. However, tank vessels, tank barges, and articulated tank barges are encouraged to participate in Washington's Voluntary Best Achievable Protection and Exception Compliance Program (VBAP/EcoPro). These standards are designed to fill important safety gaps which Washington state has identified as critical for our waters. By utilizing safety management systems which exceed federal regulatory minimums, we improve the safety of Washington waters. The standards were developed jointly with industry representatives to provide more stringent but attainable operating procedures by today’s proactive marine oil transportation companies. Companies participating in this non-regulatory program will receive public recognition for their commitment to environmental and safety excellence in their vessels’ operations. For more information contact Lori Crews.
Each company is required to develop, maintain, and practice their contingency plan or sign up with an approved Washington state umbrella plan. All plans are reviewed and approved by Ecology on a five-year cycle.
Washington State has financial responsibility requirements that exceed federal requirements for:
Chapter 88.40 RCW describes these requirements, provides
information on means of establishing documentation of financial responsibility, and sets conditions for vessels to enter or operate on Washington waters.
View an interactive map of
oil transfers in Washington.
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