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ESHB 1578 will require in Rosario Strait and connected waterways east, as of September 1, 2020, tug escorts on laden oil tankers between 5,000 and 40,000 deadweight tons, and on both laden Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs) and towed waterborne vessels or barges that are 1) designed to transport oil in bulk internal to the hull, and 2) greater than 5,000 deadweight tons. More information about this requirement will be provided in the coming weeks.
ESHB 1578 also gave the BPC authority to partner with the Department of Ecology to conduct future rulemaking regarding tug escorts in the Puget Sound Pilotage District. Deliverables include:
BPC will enter into an interagency agreement with the Department of Ecology for assistance with rulemaking activities.
OIL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY - 2019 LEGISLATION
Chapter 88.16 RCW, Pilotage Act
The 2019 Legislature enacted new safety requirements to close the safety gap further on the acute risk of a potentially large oil spill in the Salish Sea from tank vessels by passing Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1578 Reducing threats to southern resident killer whales by improving the safety of oil transportation.