Chapter 173-187 WAC

Ecology is formally proposing a new chapter of rule, Chapter 173-187 WAC Financial Responsibility. 

This rulemaking will implement updates to Chapter 88.40 RCW Transport of Petroleum Products – Financial Responsibility, as required under Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill (E2SHB) 1691. The rulemaking will ensure that vessels and facility owners and operators have adequate financial resources to pay cleanup and damage costs arising from an oil spill. Additionally, the existing Chapter 317-50 WAC - Financial Responsibility for Small Tank Barges and Oil Spill Response Barges will be incorporated into the new rule. After the new rule is adopted, the previous rule will be repealed.

The new rule will:

  • Define the entities subject to financial responsibility requirements.  
  • Establish required levels of financial responsibility for oil handling facilities and pipelines. 
  • Specify the procedures and timelines for obtaining or renewing a certificate of financial responsibility. 
  • Establish requirements for acceptable evidence of financial responsibility, including self-insurance.
  • Outline the process for ensuring timely updates to changes in financial status.
  • Define the processes governing the suspension, revocation, and re-issuance of certificates of financial responsibility considering potential liabilities incurred by a covered entity after an oil spill or other incident. 
  • Incorporate and update financial responsibility requirements currently included in Chapter WAC 317-50 – Financial Responsibility for Small Tank Barges and Oil Spill Response Barges.
  • Repeal Chapter 317-50 WAC. 

Rulemaking timeline


Announcement phase (CR-101)

Filing date:
April 17, 2023

Announcement documents

Rule development phase

April 17, 2023 – January 2024

Public input & involvement

We held workshops for stakeholders during this phase. Workshop presentation slides are available at the links below.

Stakeholder Workshop #1 Presentation

Stakeholder Workshop #2 Presentation

Stakeholder Workshop #3 Presentation

Stakeholder Workshop #4 Presentation

Stakeholder Workshop #5 Presentation

Stakeholder Workshop #6 Presentation

Rule proposal phase (CR-102)

Filing date:
Jan. 19, 2024

Rule proposal documents:

Comment period

Comments were due by March 8, 2024

View comments recieved

Ecology is reviewing all comments received and plans for adoption June 13, 2024. See above for documents related to the Proposal Phase of the rulemaking.

We held three public hearings on this rule proposal via webinar. The hearings began with a short presentation and question and answer session, followed by the opportunity to provide testimony.

Public Hearing Presentation

Additional languages

Español (Spanish) 中文 (Chinese) Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) 한국어 (Korean) русский (Russian)


To request ADA accommodation for disabilities, or printed materials in a format for the visually impaired, contact Ecology's ADA Coordinator by email at, or call 360-407-6831. People with impaired hearing may call Washington Relay Service at 711. People with speech disability may call TTY at 877-833-6341.