Today is
[Portal ID #1962]

Department of Ecology
Committees, Boards, and Workgroups

Grays Harbor VTRA

Grays Harbor Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment (GHVTRA) process

Ecology will use the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Formal Safety Assessment, which is an industry-standard framework, to conduct the risk assessment. After defining goals, systems, and operations, this framework has five steps:

  1. Hazard identification
  2. Risk analysis
  3. Risk control options
  4. Cost-benefit analysis
  5. Recommendations for decision making

Our focus through June 2018 is completing step one of the Formal Safety Assessment process, Hazard Identification. The focus is on regionally specific areas where improvements could be made.

More information

  • Contact Brian Kirk, Risk Assessment Lead, at brian.kirk@ecy.wa.gov with questions about the GHVTRA or the hazard identification process.
  • Contact Sonja Larson, Response Technology Lead, at sonja.larson@ecy.wa.gov with questions about the Response Capability Assessment.
  • Visit our oil transportation page to review our past risk assessment projects and other legislatively directed work.

Public information webinar

Ecology hosted a public webinar about the Grays Harbor Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment project on Thursday, February 22, 2018. The purpose of the webinar was to describe the risk assessment goals, methods, progress to date, and next steps.

Workshop schedule and information

In order to complete step 1, Hazard identification, Ecology will host a series of workshops for stakeholders.

 Date  Event
 January 2018  Hazard Identification Workshop 1
 February 2018  Hazard Identification Workshop 2
 April 2018  Response Capability Workshop
 April 2018  Commercial Fishing, Tribal Fishing, and Recreational Vessel Oil Spill Prevention and Preparedness Workshop
 Late summer 2018  Hazard Identification and Response Capability Preliminary Report

Hazard Identification Workshops (January-February 2018)

  Workshop 1 Workshop 2 
Scope  Identify local factors associated with hazards to commercial vessel operations in Grays Harbor that could result in an oil spill Describe causes, safeguards, and high-level recommendations related to the local risk factors identified in Workshop 1
Method Facilitate collaborative brainstorming with workshop participants Facilitate collaborative brainstorming with workshop participants
Outcome List of local factors (For each local factor identified in Workshop 1) A description of the causes of the hazard, safeguards intended to prevent the hazard, and any high-level recommendations to reduce the likelihood or consequence of the hazards

Hazard identification waterway areas

In our Hazard ID workshops, we will look at the risk of spills throughout the commercially navigable waterway of Grays Harbor. We divided the waterway into four areas to facilitate discussions. Workshop participants will systematically discuss the risks that could lead to an oil spill from a commercial vessel in each of the waterway areas.

Map of Grays Harbor divided into four areas from west to east by vertical lines.

Invited workshop participants

  • Brusco Tug
  • Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation
  • City of Hoquiam
  • Contanda
  • General Steamship
  • Grays Harbor Pilots
  • Hoh Indian Tribe
  • Jones Stevedoring
  • Makah Tribe
  • Marine Spill Response Corporation
  • National Response Corporation
  • NOAA
    • Office of Coast Survey
    • Scientific Support coordinator
    • Olympic National Marine Sanctuary
  • Ocean Companies
  • Port of Grays Harbor
  • Quileute Tribe
  • Quinault Indian Nation
  • REG Grays Harbor
  • Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • US Coast Guard
    • MSU Portland
    • Station Grays Harbor
  • Washington Department of Natural Resources
  • Washington Dungeness Crab Fishing Association
  • Washington State Maritime Cooperative
  • Washington Trollers Association

Response Capability Assessment (April 2018)


  • Characterize the response systems capability (skimming) not the impact of the spill to the environment.
  • Use the Response Options Calculator – a modeling tool developed by NOAA.
  • Model parameters to account for risk scenarios identified by the workgroup in Hazard ID workshop 1 & 2.
  • Considerations include location, time of the spill, type of oil, season, wind speed, and spill volume - these impact the maximum capacity of response  resources to recover oil.
  • Identify an estimated maximum potential response capacity for on-water recovery.


  • Propose parameters of response equipment assessment.
  • Discuss and agree on study scope and purpose of resulting recommendations.

Commercial, Tribal Fishing, and Recreational Vessel Workshop (April/May 2018)

Ecology is planning this workshop for commercial fishermen, tribal fishermen, and recreational vessel operators. Its purpose is to:

  • Review historic oil spill incidents.
  • Identify potential practices/solutions that could reduce oil spills.

 File NameFile SizeDescriptionCategoryDate Added
GraysHarborVesselTrafficRiskAssessmentHazardIdentificationWorkshop1Handbook2018-01-25.pdf 1.2 MB Workshop 1 handbook (accessible)
Workshop 1 handbook (accessible)
Materials 10/29/18 10:16 AM
GraysHarborVesselTrafficRiskAssessmentHazardIdentificationWorkshop2Handbook2018-02-28.pdf 1.2 MB Workshop 2 handbook (accessible)
Workshop 2 handbook (accessible)
Materials 10/29/18 11:22 AM
GraysHarbor-VTRA-22Feb2018-webinar-PPT.pdf 361.6 KB Feb. 22, 2018 webinar presentation slides (accessi...
Feb. 22, 2018 webinar presentation slides (accessible)
Webinars 10/29/18 11:45 AM

Currently loading

Please Wait...