Oil Spill workshop on Orcas April 11

Workshop to be held on Friday on Orcas Island

Oil spill plans

In advance of fully updating the Geographic Response Plans (GRP) for oil spills in the San Juan Islands and North Puget Sound regions, members of the public and the oil spill response community will have three opportunities to attend workshops that will describe what GRPs are and how to best provide comments on the plans.

The GRP Workshop will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, Friday, April 11, at the Orcas Island Fire Department in Eastsound.

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and other partners involved in oil spill prevention, preparedness and response will host the workshops. The sessions are scheduled to occur in advance of the planned complete update of Chapter 4 of the GRP for both the North Puget Sound and San Juans in 2008. The workshops are designed to introduce the public to what GRPs are (and are not) and how to best provide feedback. The partners seek to gather comments and suggestions from the public and other interested parties to help update the State’s existing site-specific response plans for marine oil spills in the two regions.

These geographic response plans are triggered during the first few hours (up to 24 hours) after an oil spill. The plans are typically tailored to specific beaches, shores, or waterways. GRPs help minimize damage to sensitive areas threatened by a spill. Ecology and USCG are looking for natural, cultural and economic resource information, GIS data, additional contacts, changes to access points and other related information to help update these response plans.

For more information go to www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/preparedness/GRP/GRPWorkshop.htm