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Rep. Christine Rolfes announces oil spill response plan

Post by Katie Schmidt on Jan. 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm with 2 Comments »
January 11, 2011 3:43 pm

Rep. Christine Rolfes said today that she wants to improve oil spill response in Puget Sound and she wants industry to pay for it.

Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, announced that she already has support from other House Democrats for a bill she plans to introduce by the end of the week to require tanker companies establish a volunteer coordination system, invest in more advanced oil spill response equipment and contract with local commercial vessels to help should a spill occur.

“My biggest concern was watching the BP spill,” said Rolfes, who serves as vice chairwoman of the House Environment Committee. “I would like our state and our industry working together to make sure that if a disaster like that happens here we’ve done everything we can.”

Rolfes said she had secured the support of 14 other representatives to be co-sponsors of the bill including Rep. Zack Hudgins and Rep. Dave Upthegrove, chairman of the Environment Committee.

She said Upthegrove had assured her that the bill would get a hearing in committee.

Curt Hart, a spokesman for the Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program in the state Ecology Department said the program had long supported the initiatives proposed in Rolfes’ announcement, including the idea that industry help pay for oil spill preparedness.

“They’re hitting the nail right on the head with this one,” he said.

Hart said the threat of oil spills in the Puget Sound area was real given the volume of tanker traffic that uses the area’s waterways. He said the Ecology Department spill program receives about 3800 reports of spills in the area per year and responds to about 1200.

“If we had a major spill in Washington, the economic, cultural and environmental costs in our state would be astronomical,” Hart said.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. LibertyBell says:

    I guess to get elected, that case known very well to anyone in Washington State, and the United States, could only confuse a imbecile, elected to Olympia.

    VOTE! The Americans with Disabilities Act, a state requirement, see Christine Greguoir Attorney General, Gary Locke Governor, and that United States Supreme Court 9-0, for the Act’s of 1789, could only confuse em in a state of confusion 1889!


  2. Water4fish says:

    Rep. Rolfes and all the legislators who take this and any other courageous stand to protect our waters, our natural resources, our people and our entire region from the nightmare of oil spills are literally heroes who should be applauded by all the citizens in this state. Those who would speak against this position have apparently not seen the ecological and economic damage that is done by spills and I pity them for their ignorance. I have seen it and, believe me, it is a nightmare that lasts for many, many years. We do not want oil spills in our rivers or marine waters, period, and it is altogether fitting that the industry pay the price for preventing them. I, for one, greatly admire the work you are doing Rep. Rolfes. Please keep it up!

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