State of Washington
65th Legislature
2017 Regular Session
By Representatives Kilduff, Muri, Farrell, Riccelli, Robinson, Jinkins, Senn, Fey, Macri, Tarleton, Pollet, and Stanford
Read first time 01/26/17. Referred to Committee on Public Safety.
AN ACT Relating to enhancing public health and safety by implementing emergency preparedness guidance measures related to oil train accidents; adding a new section to chapter 43.70 RCW; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature recognizes that oil train traffic in Washington state has increased in recent years. This increase brings with it an increased risk of accidents, which may involve spills, fires, and other associated hazards that are injurious to the public's health and safety. An estimated seven hundred seventy-five thousand Washingtonians are exposed to these risks due to their proximity to train tracks that transport oil. The legislature finds that citizen awareness and preparedness are critical components in accident response. Accordingly, the legislature intends to implement measures that will not only increase the overall preparedness of the state to respond to its existing hazards, but will specifically enhance community-based and citizen-based preparation efforts, and will help ensure that local communities and individuals are able to respond appropriately to mitigate the public health and safety impacts associated with oil train accidents.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 43.70 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The department must create emergency preparedness guidance for oil train accidents and directly associated hazards, including, but not limited to, explosions, fires, spills, decreased water quality, and other known public health risks. The emergency preparedness guidance must establish:
(a) Effective methods of notifying citizens of an oil train accident and any associated hazardous conditions;
(b) Information targeted to the public describing the health risks of the hazardous conditions commonly associated with oil train accidents; and
(c) Guidance on what citizens should do in the event of hazardous conditions created by an oil train accident.
(2) The emergency preparedness guidance must be completed by December 1, 2018, and maintained on the department web site.
(3) No later than January 1, 2020, the department must implement a public awareness and education outreach program to increase awareness among individual citizens and local communities of the potential hazards associated with oil train accidents and of appropriate response measures should an accident occur.
(4) In developing the emergency preparedness guidance and in delivering the public awareness and education outreach program as described in this section, the department shall consult and collaborate with local city and county officials, local public health authorities, and local first responders, including local emergency planning committees, in localities through which oil trains travel.
(5) The department must submit a report to the appropriate committees of the legislature no later than December 1st of each year through the year 2020, regarding its progress toward development of emergency preparedness guidance targeted to hazards associated with oil train accidents, and its progress in developing and delivering a public awareness and outreach education program, under the timelines set forth in this section.
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