oil spill prevention

Oil Trains
5:01 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Sen. Murray Calls Federal Hearing On Risks, Procedures For Rail Shipment Of Crude Oil

AP Photo

Less than four years ago, there were virtually no shipments of crude oil by rail car through Washington state. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see the dark-gray tanks at crossings all over the state.  

U.S.  Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., held a hearing with top transportation and safety officials to discuss potential safety measures to protect communities in the face of more growth.  

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Environment
5:01 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Activist Groups Seek Tighter State Scrutiny Of Oil Trains, Export Terminal Permits

A train carrying crude oil heads west through the small town of Shelby, Mont. on Nov. 7, 2013.
Matthew Brown AP Photo

Faced with increasingly volatile sources of crude from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week issued an executive order directing his state agencies to review safety regulations and response plans.

Now community activists in Washington are asking Gov. Jay Inslee to do the same for the state’s coast.

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Environment
11:27 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Environmental Coalition Pushing Bill To Protect Residents From Risk Of Oil Spills

A train carrying crude oil heads west through the small town of Shelby, Mont. on Nov. 7, 2013.
Matthew Brown AP Photo

Last year’s fires aboard oil-carrying trains in Quebec and North Dakota have spurred environmentalists into action here in Washington state.

Figuring out how to keep Washington families safe from oil spills is one of two top-line issues backed by more than 20 groups in the Environmental Priorities Coalition this legislative session.

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Environment
12:03 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Oil spill scare off coast of Port Angeles shows readiness pays

Mike Cahill WA Department of Ecology

A small oil spill this week in Port Angeles turned out to be a lot less severe than originally feared.  Clean-up crews are still working to get sticky residue out of the the harbor. But the incident shows how preparedness can pay off.

Washington state put laws in place six years ago that did just what they were intended to do early Wednesday morning, according to the Department of Ecology.

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Environmental Law
12:44 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Tougher rules for oil spill prevention - hearings underway

On Oct. 13, 2004, about 7,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a ConocoPhillips oil tanker. The slick spread quickly and covered much of Colvos and Dalco Passage and Quartermaster Harbor in Puget Sound.
Courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology

Washington State already has some of the highest oil spill readiness standards in the country – if not in the world.

An update to those regulations is raising that bar even higher.

The tightening is in response to the catastrophic BP oil spill nearly two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The new law places new requirements on oil companies operating in Puget Sound or on the Columbia River.

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Oil Spill Response
12:02 pm
Tue January 18, 2011

Is Washington ready to handle The Big Spill?

A boat with an oil boom tries to contain oil spilled from the explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
AP

Some lawmakers in Olympia say “no.” They’re proposing a bill that would make the oil industry pay for a variety of precautions designed to protect Washington’s shorelines from an Exxon Valdez or Deepwater Horizon disaster.

(I wrote about the state of Washington's oil spill prevention and response while the Gulf spill was ongoing last spring ...)

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