BILL REQ. #:  H-4214.2 


State of Washington58th Legislature2004 Regular Session

By Representatives Rockefeller, Cooper, Chase, Sullivan, Kagi, Simpson, G., Simpson, D., Lantz, Lovick and Upthegrove

Read first time 01/26/2004.   Referred to Committee on Fisheries, Ecology & Parks.

     AN ACT Relating to oil spill prevention and response; amending RCW 90.56.005 and 90.71.050; and creating a new section.


Sec. 1   RCW 90.56.005 and 1991 c 200 s 101 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) The legislature declares that the increasing reliance on water borne transportation as a source of supply for oil and hazardous substances poses special concern for the state of Washington. Each year billions of gallons of crude oil and refined petroleum products are transported by vessel on the navigable waters of the state. These shipments are expected to increase in the coming years. Vessels transporting oil into Washington travel on some of the most unique and special marine environments in the United States. These marine environments are a source of natural beauty, recreation, and economic livelihood for many residents of this state. As a result, the state has an obligation to assure the citizens of the state that the waters of the state will be protected from oil spills.
     (2) The legislature finds that prevention is the best method to protect the unique and special marine environments in this state. The technology for containing and cleaning up a spill of oil or hazardous substances is in the early stages of development. Preventing spills is more protective of the environment and more cost-effective when all the costs associated with responding to a spill are considered. Therefore, the legislature finds that the primary objective of the state is to adopt a zero spills strategy to prevent any oil or hazardous substances from entering marine waters.
     (3) The legislature also finds that:
     (a) Recent accidents in Washington, Alaska, southern California, Texas, and other parts of the nation have shown that the transportation, transfer, and storage of oil have caused significant damage to the marine environment;
     (b) Even with the best efforts, it is nearly impossible to remove all oil that is spilled into the water;
     (c) Washington's navigable waters are treasured environmental and economic resources that the state cannot afford to place at undue risk from an oil spill; and
     (d) The state has a fundamental responsibility, as the trustee of the state's natural resources and the protector of public health and the environment to prevent the spill of oil.
     (4) In order to establish a comprehensive prevention and response program to protect Washington's waters and natural resources from spills of oil, it is the purpose of this chapter:
     (a) To establish state agency expertise in marine safety and to centralize state activities in spill prevention and response activities;
     (b) To prevent spills of oil and to promote programs that reduce the risk of both catastrophic and small chronic spills;
     (c) To ensure that responsible parties are liable, and have the resources and ability, to respond to spills and provide compensation for all costs and damages;
     (d) To provide for state spill response and wildlife rescue planning and implementation;
     (e) To support and complement the federal oil pollution act of 1990 and other federal law, especially those provisions relating to the national contingency plan for cleanup of oil spills and discharges, including provisions relating to the responsibilities of state agencies designated as natural resource trustees. The legislature intends this chapter to be interpreted and implemented in a manner consistent with federal law;
     (f) To provide broad powers of regulation to the department of ecology relating to spill prevention and response;
     (g) To provide for an independent oversight board to review the adequacy of spill prevention and response activities in this state; and
     (h) To provide an adequate funding source for state response and prevention programs.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   (1) The legislature recognizes that while the prevention of oil and hazardous substances spills and the goal of zero spills are the primary objectives of the oil spill program, the best available technologies for contingency planning and response must also be in place in the event that a spill does occur. To ensure that the state oil spill program is utilizing the most effective and up-to-date methods and technologies, the department of ecology shall initiate a review of current oil spill prevention and contingency plan requirements to determine their effectiveness in preventing and responding to oil and other hazardous substances spills.
     (2) The department of ecology shall create an oil spill review committee to implement this section. The committee shall include, but is not limited to, representatives from the following entities: The United States coast guard; treaty Indian tribes; regulated facilities; regulated vessels; marine fueling facilities; the Puget Sound harbor safety committee; the Puget Sound action team; the department of fish and wildlife; environmental stakeholders; labor organizations; local government; and ports.
     (3) The oil spill review committee shall research and recommend:
     (a) Methods to best achieve a zero spill strategy;
     (b) Best management practices and regulations on oil spill prevention during oil transfers including the use of automatic shutoff devices, the number and training requirements of personnel, daylight-only fuel transfers, illumination standards, and other oil transfer prevention strategies; and
     (c) Methods and data requirements for monitoring the effectiveness of oil spill prevention strategies.
     (4) The oil spill review committee shall report recommendations to the appropriate committees of the legislature by December 1, 2004.

Sec. 3   RCW 90.71.050 and 1998 c 246 s 15 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1)(a) Each biennium, the action team shall prepare a Puget Sound work plan and budget for inclusion in the governor's biennial budget. The work plan shall prescribe the necessary federal, state, and local actions to maintain and enhance Puget Sound water quality, including but not limited to, enhancement of recreational opportunities, and restoration of a balanced population of indigenous shellfish, fish, and wildlife. The work plan and budget shall include specific actions and projects pertaining to salmon recovery plans and the effectiveness of strategies for preventing and responding to oil and other hazardous substances spills.
     (b) In developing a work plan, the action team shall meet the following objectives:
     (i) Use the plan elements of the Puget Sound management plan to prioritize local and state actions necessary to restore and protect the biological health and diversity of Puget Sound;
     (ii) Consider the problems and priorities identified in local plans; and
     (iii) Coordinate the work plan activities with other relevant activities, including but not limited to, agencies' activities that have not been funded through the plan, local plans, and governmental and nongovernmental watershed restoration activities.
     (c) In developing a budget, the action team shall identify:
     (i) The total funds to implement local projects originating from the planning process developed for nonpoint pollution; and
     (ii) The total funds to implement any other projects designed primarily to restore salmon habitat.
     (2) In addition to the requirements identified under RCW 90.71.020(2)(a), the work plan and budget shall:
     (a) Identify and prioritize the local and state actions necessary to address the water quality problems in the following locations:
     (i) Area 1: Island and San Juan counties;
     (ii) Area 2: Skagit and Whatcom counties;
     (iii) Area 3: Clallam and Jefferson counties;
     (iv) Area 4: Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties; and
     (v) Area 5: Kitsap, Mason, and Thurston counties;
     (b) Provide sufficient funding to characterize local watersheds, provide technical assistance, and implement state responsibilities identified in the work plan. The number and qualifications of staff assigned to each region shall be determined by the types of problems identified pursuant to (a) of this subsection;
     (c) Provide sufficient funding to implement and coordinate the Puget Sound ambient monitoring plan pursuant to RCW 90.71.060;
     (d) Provide funds to assist local jurisdictions to implement elements of the work plan assigned to local governments and to develop and implement local plans;
     (e) Provide sufficient funding to provide support staff for the action team; and
     (f) Describe any proposed amendments to the Puget Sound management plan.
     (3) The work plan shall be submitted to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the legislature by December 20th of each even-numbered year.
     (4) The work plan shall be implemented consistent with the legislative provisos of the biennial appropriation acts.

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