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Oil transportation risk assessments and studies

Washington is experiencing rapid changes in the types of crude oils that are moving through the state, the methods used for oil transportation, and the locations where crude is moved. A major oil spill or fire could have severe consequences to public safety, the environment, local economies, and overall quality of life.

Port of Grays Harbor. 600-foot tanker at the liquid bulk pier, the grain conveyor at Terminal 2, and a bulk ship at the pier at Terminal 2.

Tank ship tied up alongside a pier at a facility in Grays Harbor. (Photo by Port of Grays Harbor)

Our risk assessments help prepare and plan for response to oil-related incidents that could impact major waterways. By evaluating when and how oil moves through the state and the associated risks, we can make recommendations for cost-effective spill prevention measures while protecting public health and safety, the state's economy, and the environment.

Grays Harbor

Grays Harbor Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment (GHVTRA)

We’ve been working with tribes, local, state and federal partners, and environmental groups since 2017 to develop a vessel traffic risk assessment for Grays Harbor, similar to work we’ve completed for the Columbia River and Puget Sound. We are now sharing it out for public view, asking for your comments through Dec. 6, 2018.

The Grays Harbor Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment aims to:

  • Identify factors related to spill risks posed by commercial vessels.
  • Propose actions to consider which could improve spill prevention.
  • Initiate an assessment of the region’s preparedness to respond to a spill. 

Why it matters

Around 100 deep-draft commercial vessels call on Grays Harbor each year. It is the home of a significant commercial and tribal fishing fleet and one of the most valuable commercial fishing operations on the West Coast. Nearby Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge is one of four major staging areas for shorebirds in North America. A major spill here could have severe consequences to the environment, economy, public health and cultural and historical resources.

Benefits of a risk assessment

Vessel traffic risk assessments help local communities prepare and plan for a response to oil-related incidents that could impact major waterways. Our participation adds value because we know when and how oil moves through the state and the associated risks, so we can recommend cost-effective spill prevention measures locally.

Your voice matters

We invite you to review the draft Grays Harbor Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment and let us know what you think. Please provide your comments to us by Dec. 6, 2018.

Contact

Brian Kirk, Spills Program Risk Assessment Lead
425-649-7292
brian.kirk@ecy.wa.gov.

Columbia River Salish Sea 2014 study