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Spills Program

Chapter 173-182 WAC
Oil Spill Contingency Plan Rulemaking - Pipeline


Ecology is proposing new rule language for Chapter 173-182 WAC Oil Spill Contingency Plan Rule. The rule requirements were last updated for pipelines in 2006. At that time the pipeline planning standards were developed to align with the marine terminal standards. In Washington pipelines exist in both marine and inland areas. After several years of implementing the rule, we have identified the need to update our standards to ensure that required oil spill response equipment is appropriate for the pipeline risks and operating environments (marine and inland). We also feel the need to better incorporate and embrace available technology and geo-referenced data in our planning requirements.

This rulemaking will:

  • Update definitions to ensure clarity and consistency with existing federal regulations.
  • Clarify the Worst Case Discharge calculation for pipelines.
  • Create a new pipeline geographic information planning standard which will use available geo-referenced data to support preparedness planning and initial decision making during pipeline oil spills.
  • Enhance our existing air monitoring requirements for pipelines to ensure safety of oil spill responders and the general public.
  • Enhance our spills to ground requirements to ensure rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated responses to spills to ground which could impact ground water.
  • Update our pipeline planning standard storage requirements to ensure the equipment required is appropriate for the environments pipelines may impact.
  • Expand the Best Achievable Protection (BAP) Review Cycle to facilities and pipelines.
  • Other changes to clarify language and make any corrections needed.


Ecology’s process for developing these rule amendments will include gathering input from regulated pipelines, consulting with tribes, outreach to affected stakeholders and the public, and following formal steps for rule adoption.



Sonja Larson


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