Pipeline Regulation Updated in Washington State

Washington’s Department of Ecology has approved updates to the state’s Oil Spill Contingency Plan Rule.

The changes include:

  • Updates definitions to ensure clarity and consistency with existing federal regulations.
  • Clarifies the Worst Case Discharge calculation for pipelines.
  • Creates a new pipeline geographic information planning standard which will use available geo-referenced data to support preparedness planning and initial decision making during pipeline oil spills.
  • Enhances existing air monitoring requirements for pipelines to ensure safety of oil spill responders and the general public.
  • Enhances spills to ground requirements to ensure rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated responses to spills to ground which could impact ground water.
  • Updates pipeline planning standard storage requirements to ensure the equipment required is appropriate for the environments pipelines may impact.
  • Expands the Best Achievable Protection (BAP) Review Cycle to facilities and pipelines.
  • Other changes to clarify language and make any corrections needed.

In developing these rule amendments, Washington’s Department of Ecology gathered input from regulated pipelines, consulted with tribes, and outreached to affected stakeholders and the public.

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