Our Voluntary Best Achievable Protection (VBAP) and Exceptional Compliance Program (ECOPRO) memberships protect the environment by further reducing the probability of oil spills from oil-transportation operations.
Tank vessels can apply to become members in these voluntary spill-prevention programs. By encouraging companies to go above federal regulatory minimums, we improve environmental safety beyond existing regulations.
We do not require that tank ships, tank barges, and articulated tug barges (ATBs) have spill prevention plans. However, operators are encouraged to take voluntary steps and use these standards:
- Voluntary Best Achievable Protection (VBAP) standards are designed to reduce the probability of an oil spill in state waters by identifying areas where operations can improve the company's environmental safety beyond existing regulations.
- Exceptional Compliance Program (ECOPRO) standards exceed the VBAP standards.
These standards are designed to fill important safety gaps that we have identified as critical for Washington's waters. By encouraging companies to go above federal regulatory minimums, we improve the protection of state waters.
We developed the standards jointly with industry representatives to provide more stringent but attainable operating procedures for today’s proactive marine oil transportation companies. Companies participating in this non-regulatory program will receive public recognition for their commitment to environmental and safety excellence in their vessels’ operations.
Companies that elect to participate will receive public recognition for commitment to marine safety and environmental stewardship. In addition, company names will be posted on Washington's VBAP or ECOPRO list.
Interested in joining? Take a look at our guidance.