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What is the Puget Sound Partnership doing in 2014 to address oil spill issues in Washington?

The 2009 Washington State Legislature directed the Puget Sound Partnership to provide independent advice and assessment of Washington State’s oil spill programs and make recommendations for any necessary improvements. In late summer 2010 the Partnership assembled a Cross-Partnership Oil Spill Work Group to help assist the Leadership Council carry out this responsibility.

The 2012 Action Agenda outlines the priorities identified by the Work Group in May 2011. Since then the Partnership has promoted activites that concentrate on:

  • vessel traffic risk assessments,
  • reduction of abandoned and derelict vessels, and
  • involvement of locals in oil spill practice drills and assessments of natural resources

In October 2012, the Puget Sound Partnership Oil Spill Work Group and Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee formed a joint Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment (VTRA) Steering Committee, co-chaired by Todd Hass (PSP) and John Veentjer (HSC), comprising about a dozen representatives; drawn from several maritime industry sectors, the Makah Nation, Washington Association of Counties, environmental NGO's, the Department of Ecology and the US Coast Guard.

In November 2012, the Puget Sound Partnership awarded a grant to George Washington University to update the VTRA for north Puget Sound. Background and latest supporting materials for the analysis are hosted at Professor Rene van Dorp’s GWU website, The VTRA Steering Committee met almost monthly between Dec. 2012 and February 2014.

The VTRA Steering Committee and other interested parties reviewed a series of draft VTRA 2010 reports between late January and mid-February 2014. The final report was released on 3/31/14. It is 128Mb and can be downloaded at:

http://www.seas.gwu.edu/~dorpjr/tab4/publications_VTRA_Update_Reports.html

While the work of the VTRA 2010 Steering Committee is complete, in early April 2014 most of the participants tentatively agreed to form a vessel traffic Work Group through the Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee (facilitated by the same Co Chairs) in order to better: (1) understand how the VTRA 2010 results can be compared to other risk assessments, and (2) promote coordination/interaction with peers in Canada concerning same. Please contact Todd Hass for additional details on the review.

The group charter and notes from the SC meetings can be found here:

 

Recent Reports

  • Improving Oil Spill Prevention and Response in Washington State. Lessons learned from the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill.
    READ THE REPORT | LEARN MORE
  • National Commission releases final report on Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf.
    READ THE REPORT
  • National Commission releases recommendations summary for Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf. RECOMMENDATIONS

History

The Work Group's first meetings occurred in late fall 2010 for three full days. Attendees of the Work Group’s October 29 meeting unanimously agreed on four recommendations. On November 23, 2010, the PSP Leadership Council passed Resolution 2010-4 to support those recommendations.

The Partnership summarized the Work Group’s recommendations to the House’s Ecology and Parks Committee on December 10, 2010. Video on TVW.

As you can see, the organizations in the Work Group membership list are expected to broadly represent issues, concerns, and recommendations relevant to Puget Sound, the Washington coast, and the lower Columbia River.

Please contact Todd Hass, Program Manager for Marine and Nearshore Special Projects, for the Partnership, if you have questions concerning the Partnership Oil Spill Work Group or wish to attend/observe its meetings or workshops.

Partnership Oil Spill Work Group Documents/Links
Past Agendas
Latest Strategic Plans for Washington State Spills Programs and Prior Stakeholder Recommendations

The recommendations in the documents below are being used by the Work Group (synthesized by Hass) to assess common themes and future priorities.

Click to here to:
REPORT HAZARDOUS MATERIAL AND OIL SPILLS

or call 1-800-OILS-911

The Department of Ecology’s Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program has developed a website to track what's happening with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and provide information on how Washington State is providing assistance. For the latest information, click here.

 
Oil rig and fireboats
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010.


 

 

Related Documents
Improving Oil Spill Prevention and Response in Washington State. Lessons learned from the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill
National Commission releases final report on Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf. http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/final-report
An Evaluation of Regional Citizen Advisory Councils and Other Public Involvement Models to Improve Spill Response in the First Twelve Hours Final Report (Ecology – 2005)
Study of Tug Escorts in Puget Sound (Ecology – 2004)
Review of Oil Spill Risk and Comparison to Funding Mechanism (Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee -2009)
Ecology and United States Coast Guard Memorandum of Agreement (2007)
Ecology and United States Coast Guard Protocols (2007)
Ecology and United States Coast Guard Strategic Work Plan (2007)

Work Plans

Capacity Study

Other Studies

Annual Reports

 

Related Links