One of the important functions the Task Force serves is to provide forums for discussion on emerging issues and topics of interest to the Task Force jurisdictions. Many of the round tables that took place between 2002 and 2008 focused on challenges or concerns germane to many or all of the Task Force jurisdictions. Participants from industry, associations, agencies and community organizations took part in the discussions of regulatory challenges, policy gaps, science needs and communication aspects of the issue. These discussions often resulted in recommendations that were vetted and supported across the stakeholders and partners.

Many of these recommendations helped form the basis of new policy and rule-making within the Task Force member jurisdictions.

Rail Roundtable November 5, 2015,  Portland, OR
The Task Force hosted a roundtable on the state of rail oil spill planning on the West Coast. The purpose was to convene a forum of representatives from the rail industry along with federal, state and local governments with regulatory responsibility to discuss preparing for and responding to oil spills by rail. This roundtable provided an opportunity to share perspectives and information on preparedness and planning efforts underway across the participating organizations. It also intended to foster conversation on appropriate measures and best response practices that could be implemented in the near future, to ensure an advanced level of readiness across the region to address the rapid increase in movement of oil by rail.

Agenda Rail Roundtable 2015

Galena IL Derailment 2015 – Paul  Ruesch, EPA Region 5
Mt. Carbon WV Derailment 2015 – 2015 – Dennis Matlock, EPA Region 3

Meeting Summary
Rail Roundtable Summary Report FINAL

Previous Task Force Roundtables
Between 2000 and 2006, the Task Force facilitated seven roundtables on several important topics of interest. The table below provides a summary of key findings and highlights from the round tables.

Roundtable: Rail Preparedness Planning 2015 Discussed oil spill preparedness and response planning across the West Coast with industry, tribal, federal, state and local governments, first responders, state leaders and community groups. Identified opportunities for improved collaboration and gaps in inland preparedness planning.
Green Ports 2008  Discussion of and recommendations for oil spill response, water quality, and waste management in port services to ships and port operations.
Expanding Response Options 2006  Discussion about and recommendations for low-visibility and night-time oil spill response operations.  
Places of Refuge 2005  The creation of a planning and decision-making template to address ships’ requests for a Place of Refuge for use by the West Coast Area Committees.  
Spills from Trucks 2005  Recommendations for state/provincial agencies and transport operators to improve oil transport safety.  
Cruise Ship Pollution Prevention 2004  Led to the creation of the California State Cruise Ship Environmental Task Force which subsequently led to the creation of the Marine Environmental Protection Program for California.  
How NRDA Really Works 2002  Trustee and industry panels discussed injury assessment and damage determination, plus settlements and restoration.  
Oil Response Readiness 2000  Two panels discussed oil response equipment inventories and equipment
mobility and made recommendations.