Demand Tougher Safety Regs

Accidents happen (click here for the latest on the sinking of the Aleutian Isle), and when an oil and/or fuel spill happens, we need to make sure the response is immediate and the impacts are minimized.

Right now, Washington State’s Department of Ecology (Ecology) is amending regulations to improve oil transportation safety to reduce threats to Southern Resident killer whales, and they need to hear from Safe Shippers.

Ships need fuel. One way to fill up is from a fueling vessel while the big ship is at an anchorage area. This is an over-the-water oil transfer where, if a spill happens, the oil runs free, harming shorelines and sea life in its path UNLESS there is a boom in place to contain it. This is called pre-booming and it works and it makes sense.

Ecology needs to hear from us because the current rulemaking doesn’t address the fact that pre-booming is ONLY required for oil transfers that occur at rates greater than 500 gallons per minute. This is a loophole that is too big to let stand!

You have until August 31 to tell Ecology that this rulemaking should: 
• Require ALL oil transfer operations to be pre-boomed (when safe and effective to do so).

• Restrict ALL oil transfer operations to daylight hours, especially when it’s not safe or effective to pre-boom.

And another thing…

To prevent oil spills during earthquakes, Ecology is adding new requirements for seismic updates for all transfer pipelines and storage tanks, BUT NOT for secondary containment systems built before 1994. Most of the Washington refineries’ secondary containment systems were built before 1994 and they pose an unacceptable threat to Washington waters.

You have until August 31 to tell Ecology that this rulemaking should: 

• Require ALL secondary containment structures (that prevent spilled oil from reaching our waterways) to withstand seismic forces.


Thank you, Safe Shippers!