H-4725.1  _______________________________________________


                          HOUSE BILL 3026



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2002 Regular Session


By Representatives Kessler and Linville


Read first time .  Referred to Committee on .

Creating the rescue tug safety account.

    AN ACT Relating to providing funds for a rescue tug; adding a new section to chapter 90.56 RCW; creating a new section; and declaring an emergency.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that the marine waters located in and adjacent to the Strait of Juan de Fuca between the state of Washington and Canada are some of the most pristine and diverse marine waters in the United States and include irreplaceable natural resources.  The area includes such national treasures as the Olympic Coast national marine sanctuary and the Olympic national park, is home to five federally recognized Indian reservations, holds one of the largest sea bird colonies on the west coast, and is the habitat for several threatened and endangered species.

    The legislature also finds that the marine waters are of great environmental and economic importance to not only the state of Washington, but also to the people of Canada and the United States.  The legislature also recognizes that the marine vessel traffic on these waters presents risks of accidents and oil spills which would be devastating to the environment and to the economy.

    The legislature recognizes that transits by commercial vessels through the Strait of Juan de Fuca have been projected by the United States coast guard to increase by fifty percent from 2000 to 2025.  Volumes of petroleum movement, including cargo and bunker oil, are conservatively projected to increase by nearly four billion gallons by 2025.  The legislature also recognizes that this growth in commercial vessel transits, including increased transits by high risk or priority 1 cargo vessels, and petroleum movement constitute a significant and growing increase in projected oil spill frequency.

    The legislature finds that the recent placement of a rescue tug at Neah Bay has provided a valuable service, assisting disabled commercial vessels and preventing major oil spills.  The legislature also realizes that the tug may also escort high risk vessels, provide lifesaving capabilities, operate as a spill response deployment platform during major casualties, and assist during salvage operations.  The legislature believes that a dedicated fund should be established and funded to allow for the continuation of this proven safety measure.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 90.56 RCW to read as follows:

    The rescue tug safety account is created in the state treasury.  All receipts from private contributions, foreign funds, federal funds, and legislative appropriations made to fund the rescue tugs must be deposited into the account.  Moneys in the account may be spent only after appropriation.  Expenditures from the account may be used solely for the placement of dedicated rescue tugs in Washington waters.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.


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