Oil Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response
The MRC is working to support oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response within Snohomish County. The MRC created an oil spill subcommittee to explore gaps in oil spill preparedness in Snohomish County and determine where the expertise of MRC Members would be beneficial.
The oil spill subcommittee will continue to pursue the implementation of projects that will have the greatest impact on Snohomish County's oil spill preparedness. Examples of projects that will assist in accomplishing this goal include:
- Observing a tabletop exercise and working to build relationships and networks between marine experts and spill responders
- Joining the Northwest Area Contingency Plan (NWACP) task force
- Preparing comments for the upcoming Geographic Response Plan revisions that cover Snohomish County
- Registering commercial fishing vessels into the Department of Ecology Vessel of Opportunity Program.
The Snohomish MRC held an oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response meeting on November 18, 2015. Representatives from Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) presented information on oil spill management relative to their expertise. The meeting aimed to bring the key players of Snohomish County together on current and future oil spill preparation and planning.
The MRC also held several meetings with DEM to examine ways to collaborate the response plan in the event of an oil spill.
Vessel Of Opportunity Program
The Washington State Department of Ecology's Vessel of Opportunity (VOO) Program is a way for vessel owners and operators to provide support to the spill response in the event of an oil spill. Volunteer vessel owners help supplement the system of professional spill responders already in place throughout the state. The expertise, skills, and equipment provided by VOO volunteers may play a crucial role in oil spill response.
The MRC is working to increase participation in Snohomish County in the State's Vessel of Opportunity Program (VOO). The MRC has written a letter, which highlights the program. As a larger effort to strengthen county oil spill response, the MRC letter will be distributed along with VOO informational pamphlets to local commercial fishermen.