Chapter 173-186 WAC

Dec. 12, 2019, Ecology adopted amendments to Chapter 173-186 WAC, Oil Spill Contingency Plan – Railroad. This chapter requires railroads carrying oil as cargo to plan for oil spills to include how to make notifications, have the appropriate equipment and trained personnel to respond to spills that may occur. This rulemaking will:

  • Establish three tiers for railroad contingency planning and streamline requirements according to RCW 90.56.210.
  • Establish requirements for citing Spill Management Teams including entities providing wildlife rehabilitation and recovery services.
  • Enhance requirements for readiness for spills of oils that may weather and sink.
  • Update drill requirements to reflect legislative direction.
  • Make other edits to address inconsistent or unclear direction in the rule.

Rulemaking timeline


Announcement phase (CR-101)

Filing date:
Dec. 5, 2018

Announcement documents

Rule development phase

Dec. 5, 2018 – June 5, 2019

Rule proposal phase (CR-102)

Filing date:
June 5, 2019

Rule proposal documents:

Comment period

We held a comment period on this rulemaking from June 5 through July 26, 2019. During July 9–15, we held in-person hearings in Spokane and Seattle, and a hearing via webinar. At the hearings, we gave a presentation about the rulemaking, answered questions, and received testimonies.

Rule adoption phase (CR-103)

Adoption date:
Dec. 12, 2019

Rule effective date:
Jan. 18, 2020

Rule implementation information:

Additional languages

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