Advancing oil spill prevention and preparedness measures
The Stand Up To Oil campaign is working to increase protection from the oil already traveling in our region and put more of the burden of risk on the oil industry.
The 2019 legislative session resulted in major oil transportation safety policy wins in both Washington and Oregon. The spill prevention legislation passed this year in Washington requires vessels carrying crude oil in the Salish Sea, such as barges and smaller oil tankers, to be escorted by a tug around the San Juan Islands. Oregon passed legislation that improves safety measures by requiring spill response plans for oil transported by rail. These wins would not have been possible without strong environmental majorities, strong public support for action, and the years of organizing by the SUTO coalition elevating the threats of sinking oil and oil by rail in the Northwest.
This year, SUTO and our partners are also engaging in the implementation of oil transportation safety legislation passed in Washington in 2018, by participating in the rulemaking to improve spill response requirements by specifically addressing the unique risks of heavy tar sands oils.
Tell Ecology to Protect WA from Tar Sands Oil Spills
The Department of Ecology is updating the rules that require companies moving oil to have detailed spill response plans that address the specific threats of tar sands oil. Unfortunately, the updated plans are inadequate and leave us at risk of a catastrophic oil spill. Ecology must act now to increase protections for non-floating oils, like tar sands oils, with more stringent response time and equipment requirements for a fast, aggressive, and well-coordinated response to contain and recover tar sands oils before they submerge and sink.
Please send your comment letter to Ecology today.