Public comments accepted for oil spill contingency plan update

Ecology invites public review and comment on updated oil spill contingency plans.


Interested public, local and tribal governments are invited to review and comment on the interim updates to industry oil spill plans.  These interim updates are required by the recent changes to the state’s oil spill planning regulations.


Washington Administration Code (WAC) 173-182 requires oil handling facilities, pipelines and vessels to have a state-approved oil spill contingency plan that ensures their ability to respond to major oil spills.


These interim updates are for specific parts of vessel plans required to be updated 18 months from the effective date of the rule.  The required updates include requirements for:


  • Vessel of Opportunity Planning Standard – WAC 173-182-317 for Region 1.
  • Aerial Surveillance Planning Standard – WAC 173-182-321(1).
  • Dedicated on-water Storage – WAC 183-182-335.
  • 4 hour requirements for the San Juan County Planning Standard.
  • 4 hour requirements for the Neah Bay Staging Area.


The following plan is now available for public review:

Name of company: Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC)

Review starts: July 18, 2014

Review Ends: August 18, 2014 at the close of business (5 p.m.)

Provide comments by email to or by regular mail.


Find more information about how to view the plans and where to send your comments, please visit the Spills webpage at:


If you want to follow the approval process for each plan,click here. To track completed contingency plan reviews, click here.


Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your comments.  We will consider all comments and complete the review no later than 30 days after the close of the public review period.

Measles update: WA case count grows to 12, extending to third county

Measles continues to spread in Washington as cases in San Juan County have extended to a Kitsap County resident. A man in his 40s from Kitsap visited several places in Friday Harbor, including a restaurant where a contagious San Juan County man was at the same time.

San Juan County’s case count is now five, and Kitsap County has one. In Whatcom County, the case count remains at six. So far, there have been no reported measles cases related to the Whatcom County woman who attended a concert and several public venues in King and Pierce counties while contagious. Public health officials warn that the time is just starting when people who went to those places may start showing symptoms.

According to health officials, the Kitsap County man may have been exposed to measles March 21 at Cask and Schooner Public House and Restaurant, where San Juan County’s first case was also present while contagious. The Kitsap resident also traveled around Puget Sound while contagious, going to Seattle from Bainbridge Island on the Washington State Ferry System April 4, then flying to Friday Harbor. From the marina, he went to the San Juan County Department of Community Development and Planning, Cask and Schooner, and the fuel dock in Friday Harbor.

A list of the places visited by both cases while they were contagious is available online. Anyone who was in those places at the listed times should find out if they’ve been vaccinated for measles or have had measles before. People who are unvaccinated, or aren’t sure if they’re immune, and develop an illness with fever and unexplained rash should consult a health care professional immediately. Call ahead to their clinic, doctor’s office, or emergency room before arriving so people in waiting rooms aren’t exposed.

Measles is highly contagious even before the rash starts, and is easily spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes — if you’re not vaccinated, you can get the measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours.

Washington typically has five or fewer measles cases per year; so far in 2014, there have been 12. Symptoms begin seven-to-21 days after exposure and is contagious for about four days before rash appears until four days afterward. People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age, and those with weakened immune systems.

Children should be vaccinated with two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, with the first dose between 12 and 15 months and the second at four-to-six years. Adults should have at least one measles vaccination, with some people needing two. The state Department of Health immunization program has more information about measles and measles vaccine.

The Department of Health website ( is your source for a healthy dose of information. Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Washington Vying For New National Monument

He says they have been waiting for Congress to designate the land as a National Conservation Area, but the bill has languished. On a recent visit to the area, Salazar suggested trying for National Monument status, which takes a presidential signature rather than a vote. Stephens says they would be happy with either.

Local residents have two major concerns about the future of these spots, Stephens adds.

“Two very important things are keeping these preserved and not having them sold off, where they could become private, and also keeping local control. They can be accomplished through placement in the national landscape conservation system.”

The San Juans also have fans of the idea who aren’t locals. Rick Hegdahl lives in Bellevue, Wash., but he feels strongly enough about preserving the land to write a recent Seattle Times commentary.

“It’s just one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It’s not so much that I go there every day, but just the fact that it’s nearby and, if I feel like it, I can go there on a day trip. Preserving lands for future use – if we have an opportunity to do it now, let’s do it.”

Some residents have voiced concerns that fishing or boating could be restricted in the area, but either type of federal designation would require local input into the management plan. Last week, the San Juan County Council sent an official request asking that the land be considered as a National Monument.

- Chris Thomas