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Oil transportation in Washington

We protect Washington through prevention and preparedness work across all three modes of oil transportation — vessel, rail, and pipeline.

About 450 million barrels — or 20 billion gallons — of oil are transported each year through Washington's communities and marine and freshwater environments. Download this data.

Spill prevention, preparedness, and response makes a difference

Every year, 20 billion gallons of oil are transported through Washington by vessel, rail, and pipeline, posing significant risk of environmental damage. The risks associated with all modes of oil transportation and handling require a robust state program of prevention, preparedness, and response in order to protect our communities, environment, and economy.

Since the 2005 Legislature directed Ecology to set a zero-spills goal, the agency has reached significant milestones. This is reflected in one of the lowest spill rates in the nation (according to U.S. Coast Guard data), and a drill program that is a model for other states.

Sign up for our Spills Program listserv to stay up-to-date on oil transportation in Washington.

Washington cares about oil transportation safety

In April 2015, Governor Inslee signed the Oil Transportation Safety Act to help protect Washington from the risks associated with transporting oil.

Learn more about our work under the Act

To help address new oil transportation risks, the Act directed us to undertake five specific policy initiatives:
Advance notice of oil transfer Contingency planning for rail Geographic response plans Risk assessments Spill response equipment cache grants