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Contingency planning for oil industry

We require oil-handling operations — such as facilities, pipelines, large commercial vessels, and railroads — to have oil spill contingency plans that detail how they would respond to oil spills. We review the plans and test them in complex deployment and tabletop drills as part of our public service.


Oil spill contingency planning

Washington state requires larger oil-handling facilities, pipelines, commercial vessels, and railroads to have state-approved oil spill contingency plans. These plans describe the plan holder's ability to respond to oil spills.

Each company is required to develop, maintain, and test their contingency plan. We review and approve plans on a five-year cycle.

Here you will find out what's included in an oil spill contingency plan, and get guidance and assistance that helps specific industries develop these plans. Engage in the public review and comment process, and learn about rules and laws governing contingency planning.

Assistance for specific industries


A contingency plan must be submitted for review and approval at least 65 days prior to the beginning of operations at a new facility. Facilities with an approved contingency plan must resubmit the plan for review and approval every five years.

Assistance documentation

Railroads Vessels

Plans currently open for 30-day public comment

Plan name Comment period opens Comment period closes (5 p.m.) Email comments to
BP Pipelines Northwest Pipelines District (Olympic Pipeline and Cherry Point Crude Pipeline) 12/20/2017 1/19/2018 scott.zimmerman@ecy.wa.gov
Kinder Morgan Canada (Trans Mountain Pipeline) 12/20/2017 1/19/2018 scott.zimmerman@ecy.wa.gov
Central Washington Railroad 12/28/2017 1/28/2018 erica.bates@ecy.wa.gov
Phillips 66 (Yellowstone Pipeline) 1/3/2018 2/1/2018 scott.zimmerman@ecy.wa.gov
Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad 1/16/2018 2/15/2018 ashleigh.mccord@ecy.wa.gov
Great Northwest Railroad 1/16/2018 2/15/2018 ashleigh.mccord@ecy.wa.gov
U.S. Oil & Refining Co. McChord Pipeline Co. 1/16/2018 2/15/2018 sabrina.floudaras@ecy.wa.gov

Rules (WACs) and laws (RCWs) governing contingency planning