Our Goal: No spilled oil
The Oil Spill Task Force is an organization comprised of representatives from state and provincial environmental agencies in the Pacific coastal area. We collect and share data on oil spills, coordinate oil spill prevention projects, and promote regulatory safeguards. Our mission is to improve prevention, preparation, and response to oil spills on a state and provincial level.
Current Task Force projects:
Salish Sea Shared Waters Forum, Oct 3-4, 2018
The Task Force organized and co-hosted with WA and BC the first Salish Sea Shared Waters Forum. The intent of the Forum was to exchange information to enhance oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response measures to minimize the risk and impacts of spills in the Salish Sea. The Forum was intended to serve as a platform for open dialogue for all levels of government from both sides of the border, including Transport Canada, the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards, state and provincial government, Tribes and First Nations, environmental groups, and industry. Click here for additional details on our first Forum which took place Oct 3-4 in Bellingham, WA.
Transboundary Oil Spill Preparedness Report 5-Year Review is complete — In 2011, the Task Force released a report on the status of the oil spill response capacity on the US/Canada boarders (CANUSDIX and CANUSPAC). The Task Force revisited the 130+ recommendations on operations, equipment, funding and other capacity issues to determine the status of the recommendations. The final report of the 5-year review is now available to view and download. Visit our Transboundary page to view the original report.
Task Force Oil Spill Data in NOAA’s ERMA — The Task Force is partnering with NOAA to add over a decade of Task Force oil spill data to the NOAA’s Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA), an online mapping tool that is easy-to-use for environmental responders and decision makers.
What’s happening in:
Washington – The WA legislature passed a new transportation bill (SB 6269) that extends the state’s per barrel oil tax to include pipelines and would study the risk of non-floating oils. The bill also directs Ecology to establish an annual transboundary Salish Sea Safety Forum to address marine safety and spill risks in our shared waters.
Washington Department of Ecology also just approved the state’s first response plan for a railroad (BNSF). Plan details are here.
Alaska – Recently adopted changes to the Alaska Administrative Code, dealing with oil pollution prevention, financial responsibility, nontank vessel equivalent plans, and underground storage tanks. If you would like to find out more, please visit the AK DEC web page.
Canada – Canada released a the “Canada Oceans Protection Plan” in November 2017 which includes increased oil spill response capability along the Canadian coastlines. See the plan for additional details.
British Columbia – introduced the first phase of regulations in Dec 2017, strengthening the Environmental Management Act. The regulations are available on the Environmental Emergency Program website, along with fact sheets to assist with compliance.