WSR 11-14-111



[ Order 11-06 -- Filed July 6, 2011, 8:22 a.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: Ecology is proposing to amend the oil spill contingency planning rule (chapter 173-182 WAC) to implement chapter 122, Laws of 2011 (E2SHB 1186). This rule making will:

Update state oil spill preparedness planning standards to incorporate best achievable protection and best available technology.
Improve the state's current vessels of opportunity system.
Establish a volunteer coordination system.
Require joint large-scale equipment deployment drills from tank vessels.
Improve the state-required notification process to include potential spill threats as well as actual spills.
Change contingency plan requirements for nonprofit "umbrella" organizations.
Update definitions.
Make other changes related to oil spill contingency plans and ecology's contingency plan review and approval process.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: Chapters 88.46, 90.48, 90.56 RCW, and chapter 122, Laws of 2011 (E2SHB 1186) authorizes and directs the department of ecology to implement rules on this subject.

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: In April 2011, the legislature adopted E2SHB 1186. Rule revisions are needed to update vessel planning standards to ensure that the state has a response system that can operate safely and continuously at night, and during inclement weather conditions, such as, rain, fog, waves and high currents. Additionally, this rule making is needed to enhance the state's vessels of opportunity system, volunteer coordination system, drill program, notification requirements, and contingency plan requirements for nonprofit "umbrella" organizations.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Coast Guard and the state of Oregon broadly regulate many of the same entities. Ecology will include representatives from the United States Coast Guard and Oregon in stakeholder groups to ensure that we receive their input and advice, as well as, ensure that our standards are compatible and coordinated with federal and Oregon contingency planning standards.

     Process for Developing New Rule: This rule making is to amend an existing rule. During the rule-making process, ecology will share draft language, and seek input and expert advice from stakeholders - including representatives from the oil industry, the Puget Sound partnership and its oil spill work group, environmental groups, tribes, state agencies, and the federal agencies. Ecology expects to seek input and advice, and schedule stakeholder meetings in early 2012. Further, ecology will prepare press releases, focus sheets and other explanatory materials for distribution to mailing and e-mail lists. In addition, information will be posted on our web site that details the process and opportunities for involvement. Ecology will seek comments on an informal draft prior to issuing a formal proposed rule. After a formal proposed rule has been released ecology will hold at least two public hearings.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Ben Rau, Washington Department of Ecology Spills Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504, phone (360) 407-7238, fax (360) 407-7288, e-mail Ecology intends to involve stakeholders and interested parties through an open and collaborative process. Ecology has established a listserv and web site which will be used to provide stakeholders and interested parties with updates on the process: Web site and listserv

July 6, 2011

David Byers

for Dale Jensen

Program Manager

Spills Prevention,

Preparedness and Response

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