Department of Ecology, April 22, 2020

Non-floating Oils – Risk Assessment
Planning for NFO response begins with assessing the properties of the oils listed in oil spill plans, and determining which of those oils have properties (or historical precedence) of submerging or sinking when spilled.  You can use the Spills story map to see where the pipeline and rail corridors in Washington are, where oil is shipped and where transfer facilities exist in the state.  Oil spill plans contain details about the properties of oil at these various locations.

Early Assessment Guidance
When oil spills, an initial assessment needs to be made during the early hours focused on the oil properties.  Our new rules require industry to make that assessment and consult with the agencies that are responding to the spill.  Ongoing observations and data collection will tell us how the oil weathers and behaves in the environment. The NOAA ADIOS weathering model may be used to help predict how the oil product will change over time.

Next time – what do we know about the properties of the water bodies in Washington that could affect whether oil floats or sinks?