Best Achievable Protection for spill response

We define Best Achievable Protection (BAP) as training procedures, operational methods, and response technologies that are critical to successful oil spill responses. We review response tools and technologies, and update our regulatory standards to ensure the maintenance of the highest standards of preparedness over time.

In Washington, we want to have the best achievable protection (BAP) for the public and the environment. We achieve this by using the best achievable technology (BAT), which includes the use of equipment appropriate for the operating environment, trained personnel, and procedures that ensure the highest level of protection is required in regulated industry oil spill contingency plans.

The Marine Spill Response Corporation open water capable oil spill response vessel Oregon Responder simulating on-water recovery of oil with a NOFI Current Buster® booming system during a deployment drill on the Columbia River, October 10, 2018. 

We are required to update the oil spill contingency plan rules to ensure Washington achieves the highest standards of oil spill preparedness by requiring spill response technology, staffing levels, training procedures, and operational methods in oil spill contingency plans.

We coordinate and share research and development information related to oil spill preparedness and contingency planning efforts with facilities, vessels, railroads, and pipelines that are required to have oil spill contingency plans in Washington.

We currently do not have funding to sponsor research and development projects, but we are interviewing response-equipment experts to get their opinions about promising new response technologies. We also track and monitor progress of other federal, state, and industry projects.

Relevant research and development websites:

If you have a research and development source you would like to see listed here, please contact us. Current areas of response technology focus include:

  • Non-floating oil equipment and response tactics
  • Identification of resources at risk from non-floating oil spills
  • Aerial surveillance, remote sensing, and other detection technologies for oil spills
  • Common operational picture and situational awareness tools
  • Response system effectiveness
  • Review of emerging risks of oil transportation
  • Spill management team capabilities and credentialing 
  • Wildlife response service provider credentialing and enhancing our regional wildlife response capabilities
  • Financial responsibility requirements for on-shore facilities and covered vessels 

Send us your ideas about what categories of training and technology we should review in the future.

We use the BAP five-year review cycle to:

  • Employ a coordinated and collaborative approach to address identified response issues and potential response resource needs.
  • Help remove technical or regulatory barriers to the implementation of new technologies.
  • Ensure transparency by posting all program areas of review, processes, and actions.

We are currently in the BAP/BAT 2023–2027 review cycle.

                                                                     BAP review process steps

Step 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
Review BAP/BAT assessment process x        
Interview experts on new response technologies x x x x x
BAP Technology Conference    x      x  
Solicit response technologies for review x x x x x
Solicit BAP review focus areas x x x x x
NWACP Ad-Hoc Equipment Committee Meeting      x   x
Conduct Financial Responsibility for Oil Spills rulemaking   x x      
Review Chapter 173-182 WAC planning standards   x      
Convene advisory group to discuss results of BAP review process and planning standard review         x
Announce intent to update Chapter 173-182 WAC based on BAP review         x

In May 2015 and May 2019, we partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to co-host the Best Achievable Protection conference. This conference is one of the ways we employ a coordinated approach to identified response issues and potential response resource needs.