We board cargo vessels greater than 300 gross tons. Our priority is to board the vessels that we have ranked as higher risk. We assign vessels with a risk score based on their age, inspection history, past incidents, and spill history. This risk score combined with other factors, such as whether we’ve inspected them before, helps determine if we will board a vessel.
Currently we don’t inspect tank vessels for substantial risk. However, tank vessels are invited to join Washington state’s voluntary Exceptional Compliance Program.
Any vessel which spills oil into state waters will be inspected to determine the cause of the spill and how much was spilled.
Washington state has different Accepted Industry Standards for cargo and passenger vessels and fishing vessels.
Working jointly with industry, we developed these Accepted Industry Standards for cargo and passenger vessels and for fishing vessels. These standards are based on international conventions and federal regulations. They identify best marine practices. We conduct inspections to determine whether ships operating in state waters meet these standards. We believe ships following our Accepted Industry Standards are more likely to operate safely without spilling oil or causing harm to our environment or the public.