State Awards Contract To Address Environmental Concerns

Consultant selected for oil transportation study. Work continues on a study to analyze the impacts of marine and rail oil transportation in Washington state with a contract signed between the Department of Ecology and Environmental Research Consulting (ERC) of New York.

Ecology was tasked with conducting the study in the 2014 Legislative session through a budget proviso and is working in consultation with the Department of Transportation, Utilities and Transportation Commission, Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division, the Federal Railroad Administration, and tribal governments.

ERC has been awarded a $250,000 contract to work closely with Ecology’s technical team and diverse statewide stakeholders to produce a complete report that looks at the current and anticipated transportation and safety pictures for marine and rail. The report will also identify any gaps in the oil spill prevention, preparedness and response system.

“We received a number of bids from excellent organizations,” said Scott Ferguson, project manager for Ecology. “ERC was selected for their years of experience providing environmental and oil spill analysis, reputation as a leader in the environmental field, and their in-depth knowledge of the issues we need to delve into to produce an informative, thorough study.” The oil transportation study and report from ERC will:
• Inform recommendations for public health, safety and environmental concerns.
• Contain a statement of safety benefits vs. the cost of implementation.
• Offer recommendations for funding programs.
• Provide a risk communication strategy.

Gov. Inslee has issued a directive requesting initial findings and recommendations from the study by Oct. 1. The final report is due March 1, 2015.

“It’s our job to provide the best information possible to inform the governor and the Legislature,” said Ferguson. “To do that we’ll need everyone’s input and will be seeking community and citizen input each step of the way.”

More information about oil transportation in our state is available on Ecology’s website. People can also sign up to receive the Oil Movement newsletter for periodic updates.

Washington Department of Ecology – NEWS/ July 2, 2014