What’s going on?

My name is Sabrina Floudaras, I’m an oil spill preparedness planner with the Washington Department of Ecology, and I’m so excited to announce the Lake Washington (LKWA) Geographic Response Plan is now open for public comment!

Geographic Response Plans (GRPs) aim to protect sensitive natural, cultural, and economic resources at risk from an oil spill in a specified geographic area. A key part of this process is gathering input from the people who work, live, and play in this community. I hope to hear from you during this public comment period (July 24th–August 25th, 2023).

I was privileged to work on the first Lake Washington GRP back in 2014. A lot has changed since in the area since then, which is why we opened the GRP for a full update in June 2020. As the world began to emerge from the pandemic, coordination with the community, tribes, and other local, state, and federal partners became my central focus to help expedite needed fieldwork and narrative updates completed, and it worked! The draft plan, now available for public comment, is something we can all be proud of.

Familiarize yourself!

This area densely populated also has abundant natural areas, public spaces, and culturally rich and diverse communities. On the shores of the lake sit Boeing manufacturing, the University of Washington campus with Botanical Gardens and an Arboretum, and the NOAA HQ Northwest Fisheries Science Center Montlake Laboratory. Adjacent to Warren Magnuson Park is NOAA’s Western Regional Center, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, and many parks supporting natural and economic resources. Importantly floating bridges, I-90 east and west bridges and 520 run across Lake Washington, and I-405 along the east side of the Lake bypasses I-5 through Seattle, crosses waterways that flow westward from eastern uplands.

Risks from oil spills in this area come from multiple sources. Aside from the bridges and recreational boating, there are two smaller oil holding facilities on the lake that store marine fuel, the Olympic Pipeline that carries refined petroleum product crosses the Sammamish River to the north, natural gas pipelines, and a large shore-side terminal with a worst case spill potential of over 2,000,000 gallons.

What has changed?

Overall I updated 20 GRP response strategies with contractor suggested changes, revised most response strategy Implementation Details to include more succinct information in support of a rapid, aggressive, and well-coordinated response, updated driving directions, photos, verified contacts, and coordinated with local officials to improve information on all the Boat Launches and Staging Areas. Additional improvements were made thanks to important feedback from the City of Seattle, Seattle PUD, Seattle Parks & Rec Dept, King County, City of Kirkland, Kirkland Parks, City of Bellevue, homeowners, and more.

Review the draft GRP:  https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/ezshare/sppr/Preparedness/LKWA-Public/LKWACoverPage.pdf

Comment online:

Use our online comment form: https://sppr.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=TgZfF9Hpx2

Comment by mail:

Sabrina Floudaras
Department of Ecology, Spills Program
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600