90.56.005  <<  90.56.010 >>   90.56.020


The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Best achievable protection" means the highest level of protection that can be achieved through the use of the best achievable technology and those staffing levels, training procedures, and operational methods that provide the greatest degree of protection achievable. The director's determination of best achievable protection shall be guided by the critical need to protect the state's natural resources and waters, while considering (a) the additional protection provided by the measures; (b) the technological achievability of the measures; and (c) the cost of the measures.
(2) "Best achievable technology" means the technology that provides the greatest degree of protection taking into consideration (a) processes that are being developed, or could feasibly be developed, given overall reasonable expenditures on research and development, and (b) processes that are currently in use. In determining what is best achievable technology, the director shall consider the effectiveness, engineering feasibility, and commercial availability of the technology.
(3) "Board" means the pollution control hearings board.
(4) "Bulk" means material that is stored or transported in a loose, unpackaged liquid, powder, or granular form capable of being conveyed by a pipe, bucket, chute, or belt system.
(5) "Cargo vessel" means a self-propelled ship in commerce, other than a tank vessel or a passenger vessel, three hundred or more gross tons, including but not limited to, commercial fish processing vessels and freighters.
(6) "Committee" means the preassessment screening committee established under RCW 90.48.368.
(7) "Covered vessel" means a tank vessel, cargo vessel, or passenger vessel.
(8) "Crude oil" means any naturally occurring hydrocarbons coming from the earth that are liquid at twenty-five degrees Celsius and one atmosphere of pressure including, but not limited to, crude oil, bitumen and diluted bitumen, synthetic crude oil, and natural gas well condensate.
(9) "Department" means the department of ecology.
(10) "Director" means the director of the department of ecology.
(11) "Discharge" means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, or dumping.
(12)(a) "Facility" means any structure, group of structures, equipment, pipeline, or device, other than a vessel, located on or near the navigable waters of the state that transfers oil in bulk to or from a tank vessel or pipeline, that is used for producing, storing, handling, transferring, processing, or transporting oil in bulk.
(b) For the purposes of oil spill contingency planning in RCW 90.56.210, facility also means a railroad that is not owned by the state that transports oil as bulk cargo.
(c) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a facility does not include any: (i) Railroad car, motor vehicle, or other rolling stock while transporting oil over the highways or rail lines of this state; (ii) underground storage tank regulated by the department or a local government under chapter 70A.355 RCW; (iii) motor vehicle motor fuel outlet; (iv) facility that is operated as part of an exempt agricultural activity as provided in RCW 82.04.330; or (v) marine fuel outlet that does not dispense more than three thousand gallons of fuel to a ship that is not a covered vessel, in a single transaction.
(13) "Fund" means the state coastal protection fund as provided in RCW 90.48.390 and 90.48.400.
(14) "Having control over oil" shall include but not be limited to any person using, storing, or transporting oil immediately prior to entry of such oil into the waters of the state, and shall specifically include carriers and bailees of such oil.
(15) "Marine facility" means any facility used for tank vessel wharfage or anchorage, including any equipment used for the purpose of handling or transferring oil in bulk to or from a tank vessel.
(16) "Navigable waters of the state" means those waters of the state, and their adjoining shorelines, that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide and/or are presently used, have been used in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce.
(17) "Necessary expenses" means the expenses incurred by the department and assisting state agencies for (a) investigating the source of the discharge; (b) investigating the extent of the environmental damage caused by the discharge; (c) conducting actions necessary to clean up the discharge; (d) conducting predamage and damage assessment studies; and (e) enforcing the provisions of this chapter and collecting for damages caused by a discharge.
(18) "Offshore facility" means any facility located in, on, or under any of the navigable waters of the state, but does not include a facility any part of which is located in, on, or under any land of the state, other than submerged land.
(19) "Oil" or "oils" means oil of any kind that is liquid at twenty-five degrees Celsius and one atmosphere of pressure and any fractionation thereof, including, but not limited to, crude oil, bitumen, synthetic crude oil, natural gas well condensate, petroleum, gasoline, fuel oil, diesel oil, biological oils and blends, oil sludge, oil refuse, and oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil. Oil does not include any substance listed in Table 302.4 of 40 C.F.R. Part 302 adopted August 14, 1989, under section 102(a) of the federal comprehensive environmental response, compensation, and liability act of 1980, as amended by P.L. 99-499.
(20) "Onshore facility" means any facility any part of which is located in, on, or under any land of the state, other than submerged land, that because of its location, could reasonably be expected to cause substantial harm to the environment by discharging oil into or on the navigable waters of the state or the adjoining shorelines.
(21)(a) "Owner or operator" means (i) in the case of a vessel, any person owning, operating, or chartering by demise, the vessel; (ii) in the case of an onshore or offshore facility, any person owning or operating the facility; and (iii) in the case of an abandoned vessel or onshore or offshore facility, the person who owned or operated the vessel or facility immediately before its abandonment.
(b) "Operator" does not include any person who owns the land underlying a facility if the person is not involved in the operations of the facility.
(22) "Passenger vessel" means a ship of three hundred or more gross tons with a fuel capacity of at least six thousand gallons carrying passengers for compensation.
(23) "Person" means any political subdivision, government agency, municipality, industry, public or private corporation, copartnership, association, firm, individual, or any other entity whatsoever.
(24) "Ship" means any boat, ship, vessel, barge, or other floating craft of any kind.
(25) "Spill" means an unauthorized discharge of oil or hazardous substances into the waters of the state.
(26) "Tank vessel" means a ship that is constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue, and that:
(a) Operates on the waters of the state; or
(b) Transfers oil in a port or place subject to the jurisdiction of this state.
(27) "Waters of the state" includes lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, underground water, salt waters, estuaries, tidal flats, beaches and lands adjoining the seacoast of the state, sewers, and all other surface waters and watercourses within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington.
(28) "Worst case spill" means: (a) In the case of a vessel, a spill of the entire cargo and fuel of the vessel complicated by adverse weather conditions; and (b) in the case of an onshore or offshore facility, the largest foreseeable spill in adverse weather conditions.


Effective date2015 c 274: See note following RCW 90.56.005.
Effective dates1992 c 73: See RCW 82.23B.902.
FindingsSeverability1990 c 116: See notes following RCW 90.56.210.
Intent1989 c 388: "The legislature finds that oil spills can cause significant damage to the environment and natural resources held in trust by and for the people of this state. Some of these damages are unquantifiable, and others cannot be quantified at a reasonable cost. Both quantifiable and unquantifiable damages often occur despite prompt containment and cleanup measures. Due to the inability to measure the exact nature and extent of certain types of damages, current damage assessment methodologies used by the state inadequately assess the damage caused by oil spills.
In light of the magnitude of environmental and natural resource damage which may be caused by oil spills, and the importance of fishing, tourism, recreation, and Washington's natural abundance and beauty to the quality of life and economic future of the people of this state, the legislature declares that compensation should be sought for those damages that cannot be quantified at a reasonable cost and for those unquantifiable damages that result from oil spills. This compensation is intended to ensure that the public does not bear substantial losses caused by oil pollution for which compensation may not otherwise be received." [ 1989 c 388 s 1.]
Application1989 c 388: "This act applies prospectively only, and not retroactively. It applies only to causes of action which arise after May 13, 1989." [ 1989 c 388 s 12.]
Captions not law1989 c 388: "Section headings as used in this act do not constitute any part of the law." [ 1989 c 388 s 13.]
Severability1989 c 388: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1989 c 388 s 14.]
SeverabilityConstruction1969 ex.s. c 133: "If any provision of this 1969 act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, this 1969 act can be given effect without the invalid provision or application; and to this end the provisions of this 1969 act are declared to be severable. This 1969 act shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purpose." [ 1969 ex.s. c 133 s 12.]
Marine oil pollutionBaseline study program: RCW 43.21A.405 through 43.21A.420.
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