Protect Oil Refinery Workers

August 2, 2023

SPEAK OUT! Protect Oil Refinery Workers

PUBLIC HEARING in Anacortes
Updated Refinery Safety Rules
August 16 at 6:30 p.m. (prehearing overview 5:30)
Majestic Inn & Spa
419 Commercial Ave.
Anacortes, WA

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has formally submitted its updated refinery safety regulations for public comment. Your comments are needed to ensure that the new stronger rules are adopted and put in place by the agency and are not weakened by the oil industry’s influence in this rulemaking. Comments must be received by L&I before 5:00 p.m. on August 24th.

The rules are Washington State’s response to the 2010 Tesoro Anacortes Refinery disaster at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes that took the lives of 7 working men and women. In 1998, the Explosion and fire at the Equilon Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes took the lives of 6 workers. The 2010 incident was investigated by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board and determined to be preventable. The Board found that the agency’s existing (1992) rules still in effect today (recommendations rather than requirements), were ineffective to prevent the tragedy. The new rules require implementation of safety measures.

The effects of refinery explosions, fires, toxic releases and oil spills do not stop at refinery fence lines. In addition to taking lives, the Anacortes incidents devastated the lives of victims’ families, co-workers and first responders. Other incidents have sickened people in nearby communities and threaten our fragile marine environment.

Please scroll down for talking points, public hearing dates and more. ReSources in Bellingham is hosting a Webinar on August 9 to help people comment on these rules – a link is also below. Your comments will make a difference – you can help protect us all. Thank you!

Send your comments to: Ms. Teri Enos
Via email at: Tari.Enos@Lni.wa.gov

Or real mail at:
Department of Labor and Industries
Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) – Attn. Teri Enos
PO Box 44620
Olympia, WA 98504-4620

EXAMPLE LETTER:

Dear Ms. Enos,
I support DOSH’s updated Safety Standards for Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals, WAC 296-67, Part B and submit the following public comments.

These rules will:

  • Prevent deadly fires, explosions and toxic releases like the incidents in 2010 and 1998 that killed 13 workers at Skagit County refineries;
  • Make safety measures requirements not merely recommendations;
  • Help safeguard nearby communities and the region’s marine environment, nearshore habitat and wildlife;
  • Empower workers to protect themselves, communities and the environment by requiring employee collaboration in refinery safety decision-making and allowing them to stop work when lives are at risk;
  • Protect all refinery workers – employees and contract workers;
  • Implement U.S. Chemical Safety Board findings following the 2010 tragedy at the Tesoro Refinery;
  • The rules will not allow the quest for profit to undermine worker safety.

Please keep these rules strong and effective to save lives, safeguard communities and protect the environment.
Sincerely XXXX

Public Hearing Dates and Times

Please attend one of the public hearings (even if you don’t speak) to show the public interest in and support for these updated rules. You are not limited to making a single comment. Even if you submit a written comment, you can also give an oral one. Oral comments may be limited to 2 or 3 minutes depending on how many speak at the hearings.

Note: A pre-hearing overview by the state agency will occur one hour prior to the start of each public hearing.
ELECTRONIC Meeting: August 15 at 1:30 p.m., electronic and telephonic hearing
To join electronically:

https://lni-wagov.zoom.us/j/87947049101?pwd

Password (if prompted): PSM@1230
To join by phone (audio only):
253-215-8782 or 253-205-0468
Meeting ID: 879 4704 9101, Passcode: 43800387

IN PERSON HEARING in Anacortes, August 16 at 6:30 p.m. (prehearing overview 5:30)
Majestic Inn & Spa
419 Commercial Ave.
Anacortes, WA

Links to Skagit Valley newspaper articles:

Link to register for ReSources for Sustainable Communities Zoom webinar August 9th:

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7e1gZWLAR0eLrSi2UEcA3g#/registration

For more info, please contact:

Tom Glade, Evergreen Islands
tom.glade@comcast.net
(360) 202-1901

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