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Have your say about state’s proposed oil spill response for Nooksack River

Crews practice oil spill recovery on Nooksack River

Kinder Morgan conducts an oil spill recovery drill on the Nooksack River south of Lynden, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. About 30 people were involved in the drill to set out an oil containment boom and recovery equipment. The Trans Mountain pipeline c
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Kinder Morgan conducts an oil spill recovery drill on the Nooksack River south of Lynden, Wednesday, July 13, 2016. About 30 people were involved in the drill to set out an oil containment boom and recovery equipment. The Trans Mountain pipeline c

The state Department of Ecology has created a proposal for how responders would handle an oil spill on or near the Nooksack River.

People have until Dec. 12 to comment on the draft geographic response plan for the river, which starts near Mount Baker and winds 80 miles through Whatcom County before emptying into Bellingham Bay.

It’s among the plans mandated by the Oil Transportation Safety Act, which Gov. Jay Inslee signed in 2015. It’s meant to reduce damage to sensitive natural, cultural and economic resources during an oil spill, according to an Ecology news release.

The new plan looks at risks from oil trains, oil pipelines and tanker trucks.

The Trans Mountain pipeline includes a 19-mile stretch that crosses the Nooksack River and several tributaries. The Olympic Pipeline has an 8-mile stretch with a river crossing. Oil trains cross the river in Ferndale.

To respond, email comments to grps@ecy.wa.gov or send them to Washington Department of Ecology Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (NOOR-GRP), P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Find the draft plan online at ecy.wa.gov. Type Nooksack River Geographic Response Plan into the search window.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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