Rail Cars, Tacoma WA 2014 (photo: Don Clotfelter). Click on photo to visit our oil by rail page.
Coordinating Committee visit U. Fairbanks permafrost facility. 2016
Panel discussion on Best Achievable Technology at 2016 Annual Meeting
Refugio Spill, CA May 2015. Click photo for updates. (Photo: New York Times).
Coordinating Committee gathers in Davis CA, March 2016
Oiled Wildlife Care Network, CA
Oil spill cleanup demonstration at Clean Pacific 2015, Vancouver B.C.
Looking back 25+ years: the First Task Force members in 1990 in Prince William Sound

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.

New Task Force Products: Non-petroleum spill clean up, dispersant regs and more….

The Task Force recently completed several new tables comparing information across the Task Force Member jurisdictions. The tables include:

Current Task Force projects: 

West Coast Crude Transport Tracking Project
The Task Force is tracking the changes in how crude oil is being moved throughout the West Coast states and British Columbia. A number of proposed projects in the region including pipeline expansion and rail facility projects is changing the landscape for crude transport and processing. These changes raise concerns regarding the type of crude products being transported, and the capacity of facilities and ports to handle the increase.

Also, the rapid growth in crude by rail transport has highlighted response and preparedness gaps along rail lines. To address some of these concerns, the Task Force hosted a roundtable on November 5th 2015 entitled “The state of rail oil spill planning on the West Coast”. For more information in this event, click here.

What’s happening in: 

California - The Office of Spill Prevention and Response released a report on May 3rd entitled: “Refugio Oil Spill Response Report: Summary and Recommendations“. The report highlights successes and lessons learned from the pipeline spill that took place in the Refugio Beach area near Santa Barbara on May 19, 2015.

WashingtonNew!  On August 24, 2016, the Washington Department of Ecology adopted a new rule, Chapter 173-185 WAC, Oil Movement by Rail and Pipeline Notification. This new rule creates reporting standards for facilities that receive crude oil by rail, and pipelines that transport crude oil in or through the state.  Additionally, the rule identifies reporting standards for Ecology to share information with emergency responders, local governments, tribes, and the public.

New! Ecology adopted a new rule, Chapter 173-186 WAC, Oil Spill Contingency Plan – Railroad on August 31, 2016. Chapter 173-186 WAC establishes oil spill contingency plan, drill and equipment verification requirements, and provisions for inspection of records for owners and operators of railroads required to submit oil spill contingency plans under chapter 90.56 RCW, and for the response contractors that support the implementation of the railroad plans.

For more information about the rulemaking, documents available for review, and public hearings, visit the following website: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/rules/1514ov.html.

British Columbia – On April 5, 2016, the Province announced the launch of public engagement inviting British Columbians to review and comment on a new intentions paper around spill preparedness and response in B.C.

The intentions paper summarizes amendments to the Environmental Management Act (EMA), introduced on Feb 29, 2016, if passed, provide the legal foundation to establish a new spill preparedness and response regime to address environmental emergencies in B.C.