Washington State Repeals Old Oil-spill Laws

On Nov. 7, the Washington state Department of Ecology (Ecology) repealed six oil spill prevention and preparedness rules that were superseded when the agency adopted new oil transfer and spill contingency plan rules.

Ecology also amended several existing spills rules, including an expanded definition of oil, to be consistent with statutory changes effective in July 2007.

The department adopted a new definition of oil that now encompasses biologically derived plant oils and fuels such as biodiesel, making the state's definition consistent with the federal definition of oil.

Another amended rule increased the state?s authority to assess natural resource damages caused by an oil spill by increasing the ceiling amount from $50 to $100 per gallon. This new ceiling is intended to better compensate Washington residents for the true cost of injuries to state natural resources caused by an oil spill.

Dale Jensen, Ecology's manager for spill prevention, preparedness and response, said repealing the old oil transfer and spill contingency plans rules and adopting the new definition of oil and the increase in assessment makes the department?s rules consistent with new state laws.

For more information, contact Ecology at http://www.ecy.wa.gov.

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