WA CBR notification system starts October 1

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Responding to the Washington Council of Fire Fighters and other first responders, Washington State adopted a new rule, Chapter 173-185 WAC, Oil Movement by Rail and Pipeline Notification, “to enhance oil spill preparedness and response.”

The rule allows the state’s Department of Ecology (DOE) to share crude oil movement information with emergency response agencies through an advance notification system. In addition, DOE will publish aggregated public disclosure reports quarterly, summarizing details about oil movement in Washington State. The newly adopted rule goes into effect Oct. 1, 2016, and the first quarterly report will be published in January 2017.

“In the wake of recent oil train disasters, Washington is moving quickly to improve public safety and protect our natural resources,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “This rule will assure that our emergency responders get advance notice before oil train shipments arrive in their communities.”

The rule applies to four facilities in Washington that currently receive crude oil shipments by rail, and to two pipelines that transport crude oil in the state. New facilities and pipelines also will be subject to the rule.

Previously, no state reporting standards existed. A 2014 emergency order by the U.S. Department of Transportation required railroad carriers transporting Bakken crude oil in unit trains, and in volumes greater than one million gallons, to provide information to state emergency response commissions regarding the estimated volumes and frequencies of such trains.

DOE held four public meetings on the new rule during its 65-day public comment period. The Department says more than 1,000 comments were received, reviewed and factored into the rule development.

You can read the full rule HERE.





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