Free workshop addresses oil spills

Residents of the Northwest Straits region of the Salish Sea are increasingly concerned about the growth of oil tanker and cargo ship traffic in the straits. The Trans Mountain pipeline proposal by Kinder Morgan Canada would result in a dramatic increase in tanker traffic: from about five tankers a month currently to up to 34 tankers a month would carry oil from the Trans Mountain pipeline through Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


Other proposed projects will further add to commercial marine traffic in the strait, including another 487 cargo ships calling on the proposed Gateway Pacific coal export terminal near Bellingham each year.

An upcoming workshop on “Community Engagement in Oil Spill Response and Readiness in Port Angeles” aims to address such questions as: What will happen if a major oil spill occurs off the shores of Clallam County? How will it impact its shores? Who is in charge of spill response and what happens behind the scenes? What training do you need to be involved in the clean-up?


The workshop is slated for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, in the Emergency Operations Center of the Clallam County Courthouse, at 223 E. Fourth St.


Local, state and federal agency staff will describe their roles as a part of “Incident Command,” how they plan for and make decisions during spills, and how they strive to protect valuable natural and community assets.


Learn from the U.S. Coast Guard about the decisions they face when oil is spilled. Meet spill response managers from the Department of Ecology and Department of Fish and Wildlife and hear about their roles in the event of a major oil spill.


Learn about the challenges spill responders would face in dealing with a spill in the community and how you can help before, during and after a spill.


For more information or to RSVP, contact Michelle Lim, Northwest Straits Foundation at or 360-733-1725.


The event is sponsored by the Northwest Straits Foundation, the Clallam County Marine Resources Committee, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Ecology and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, with funding support from the Environmental Protection Agency.


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