The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) announced it will offer grants for emergency responders to purchase oil spill equipment and to help fill the gaps in preparedness. New routes and methods of moving crude oil have changed in Washington in recent years, altering hotspots for oil spills. However, emergency services in these communities may not have all the equipment necessary to handle these spills.
Since 2017, Ecology has awarded $3.8 million in grants, funding over 60 caches of oil spill response equipment all over the state and creating a network of capable responders. The funds have been used for buying a less toxic firefighting foam for the Seattle Fire Department and radios for the White Salmon Fire Department. The Lummi Indian Business Council received funds to buy a spill response boat, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community bought air monitoring equipment, and the San Juan County Fire District received spill training.
Eligible parties include those representing a city, county, port district, state agency, tribal government, and others who are at risk of oil spills. Visit ecology.wa.gov to learn more about workshops and to find out what equipment the grants will cover. Applications for grants are now open through March 6. Contact Laura Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.