A systematic and detailed evaluation of oil spill control and cleanup capabilities for the Columbia River Basin was conducted to meet the specific directives of Congress in Public Law 95–308. Planned increases in oil tanker traffic caused concern that transportation, production, and handling of oil in, on, and near the navigable and ocean waters of the Columbia River Basin system create substantial environmental risks. Therefore, a thorough, detailed assessment of the current plans and capabilities to best prevent, contain, clean up, or mitigate the damages resulting from possible oil spills and discharges was required to protect this marine, estuarine, and fresh water system. The overall objective of the project was to provide an example of state-of-the-art spill risk management planning for an important region, so that the similar work can be performed for other regions in the near future. The U.S. Coast Guard presented the conclusions and recommendations to the Congress, as required.

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Author notes

* Work performed for the U.S. Coast Guard under contract number DOT-CG-13-6652.