Pre-Boom It or Lose It! Take Action by March 3, 2023.

Accidents happen! In 2003, a pristine Suquamish tribal estuary was damaged due to an un-contained oil spill across the Sound in Edmonds. As a result of this preventable debacle, Washington State’s Department of Ecology (Ecology) enacted requirements for safer vessel oil transfers. That’s great, but they can do better! There is a leaky loophole which still permits over-the-water oil transfers of a certain size to occur without pre-booming (spill-containment). Safe Shippers say, “A spill is a spill no matter what the size and if it can be contained, then do it!”

Ecology needs to hear from us – again. Last August, Safe Shippers wrote to comment on Ecology’s pre-draft version of these oil safety regulations. This current draft phase is our second opportunity to demand tougher regulations in order to reduce threats to Southern Resident killer whales and all creatures of the Salish Sea.

Our deadline is 6:00pm on Friday, March 3 to tell Ecology that this rule-making 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.

• Require ALL secondary containment structures, which prevent spilled oil from reaching our waterways, to withstand seismic forces.


Send a personalized letter directly to Ecology via Friends of the San Juans Action Page

Sign on to the Washington Conservation Action Email

(As always, your voice will be stronger if you personalize your letter)

Thank you, Safe Shippers!



The Seattle Times: Suquamish Tribe gets $1.1 million for ’03 oil spill

Salish Current: San Juan waters remain at risk from oil spills 

Journal of the San Juan Islands: Tugboat partially sinks off Lopez ferry terminal