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Washington state Department of Ecology (Ecology) repealed six oil spill
prevention and preparedness rules that were superseded when the agency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.