Tag Archives: oil by rail

Butte County Receives Local Spill Response Equipment

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) oversaw the delivery of oil spill response equipment and training for Butte County first responders today. Butte County is the fifth inland area awarded the spill equipment grant since OSPR expanded its preparedness activities statewide.

“This grant ensures Butte County is prepared in the event of an oil spill. Oroville is one community in the county with a long history of rail traffic with the potential for impacts to the nearby Feather River and Lake Oroville,” said OSPR’s Local Government Outreach and Grant Coordinator Cindy Murphy.

The Butte County Fire Department received the $30,000 grant that provides 1,000 feet of containment boom, absorbent materials, a mobile trailer, and eight hours of training. The equipment will strengthen oil spill preparedness and response at the Lower Feather River.

Today’s training included a four hour classroom instruction session, followed by four hours of on-water equipment deployment with spill response professionals.

OSPR began offering equipment grants in 2007 and it has since provided over $1 million to more than 40 local government agencies and tribes in California.

Equipment grants are available to any local public agency or tribe in the state. In order to be considered, agencies must be at risk of an oil spill occurring in their jurisdiction. The Response Equipment Grant Program webpage offers more information.

Siskiyou County Receives Equipment and Training for Oil Spill Response

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) oversaw the delivery of oil spill response equipment and training for Siskiyou County first responders today. Siskiyou County is the fourth inland area awarded the spill equipment grant since OSPR expanded its preparedness activities statewide in 2014.

“For 25 years, we’ve protected the coast from oil spills. Now we want to bring the same level of protection to communities that have a long history of rail traffic and potential river impacts,” said OSPR’s Local Government Outreach and Grant Coordinator Scott Lipton. “It’s crucial that we all work together to protect these vital areas.”

Siskiyou County Environmental Health Department received the $30,000 grant that provides 1,000 feet of containment boom, absorbent materials, a mobile trailer and eight hours of training. The equipment will strengthen oil spill preparedness and response at the Upper Sacramento River.

Today’s training included a four -hour classroom instruction session, followed by four hours of on-water equipment deployment with spill response professionals.

“On behalf of Siskiyou County First Responders and the Upper Sacramento River Communities, we are grateful to OSPR and the people of the State to have been awarded this grant which will provide swift water oil response equipment and training to local personnel.  Siskiyou County is home of the head waters of the Sacramento River and its diverse habitat, we are very pleased to have these additional tools to help protect this crucial waterway.”

OSPR began offering equipment grants in 2007 and has since provided nearly $1 million to more than 40 local government agencies and tribes in California.

Equipment grants are available to any local public agency or tribe in the state. In order to be considered, agencies must be at risk of an oil spill occurring in their jurisdiction. The Response Equipment Grant Program webpage offers more information.

Media Contact:
Eric Laughlin, Public Information Officer, (916) 214-3279

Oil by Rail Report Highlights Need for Sustainable Funding and Close Coordination to Protect Public Safety

Media Contact: Alexia Retallack, CDFW Communications, (916) 952-3317

Large Increase in Oil by Rail Points to Need for Long-Term Solutions

In an effort to prepare state and local emergency responders for the dramatic increase in shipments of oil by railroad in California communities, the state Interagency Working Group on Oil by Rail Safety today released a report outlining its recommendations to improve public safety during the transport of oil by rail in California.

“Keeping California’s residents and environment safe from oil spills from rail deliveries, pipelines, or marine shipments is a top public safety priority,” said Mark Ghilarducci, Director of the California Office of Emergency Services. “Implementing these recommendations will bolster a growing array of prevention, response and regulatory efforts.”

State energy officials estimate that crude oil imports by rail will increase from 1 percent of total California oil imports in 2013 to 25 percent of imports by 2016. Most of the increase is due to a sharp rise of imports from Canada and North Dakota in the Bakken shale formation.

In response, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. included proposals in his budget to prepare the state for the influx of oil by rail, including increasing safety inspections of railways by the Public Utilities Commission and establishing an inland oil spill preparedness and response program.

“Californians recognize that moving oil can be a dangerous business,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham. “Enhancing the programs we have in place will give Californians the confidence they need to know that any movement of oil in this state will be done in the safest manner possible.”

The report details 12 main recommendations:

• Increase the number of California Public Utilities Commission rail inspectors;
• Improve emergency preparedness and response programs;
• Request improved identifiers on tank placards for first responders;
• Request railroads to provide real-time shipment information to emergency responders;
• Request railroads provide more information to affected communities;
• Develop and post interactive oil by rail map;
• Request the federal Department of Transportation to expedite phase-out of older, riskier tank cars;
• Accelerate implementation of new accident prevention technology;
• Update California Public Utilities Commission incident reporting requirements;
• Request railroads provide California with broader accident data;
• Ensure compliance with industry voluntary agreement;
• Ensure state agencies have adequate data.

Several state agencies engage in prevention, planning, emergency response, and cleanup activities applicable to oil by rail, including the Office of Emergency Services (OES), the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR). Local agencies, including the local Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs), also play critical roles in emergency preparedness and response, and have expressed growing concern about increased oil by rail transport.

In addition to administration’s budget proposal, state officials are updating California’s emergency response programs, including the CalEPA Emergency Response Management Committee revising the Hazardous Material and Oil Spill annex of the State Emergency Plan and OES reviewing and updating the six Regional Plans for Hazardous Materials Emergency Response.

The report is the product of an intensive 6 month effort by multiple state agencies, including the California Public Utilities Commission; California Office of Emergency Services; California Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Toxic Substances Control; California Energy Commission; California Natural Resources Agency; California Office of the State Fire Marshal; Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources; and Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

View the report: http://bit.ly/OBR-pdf

Visit the web page: http://bit.ly/OBR-page