Oil spill readiness drill in Wash.'s Padilla Bay

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ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington Department of Ecology is testing oil spill readiness during a drill in Padilla Bay near Anacortes on Tuesday.

Ecology spokesman Curt Hart says companies that work with the Washington State Maritime Cooperative has been practicing oil spill response and protection of sensitive areas since early morning.

The cooperative provides oil spill contingency plan coverage for 1,200 large commercial vessels that move through the Puget Sound, Grays Harbor and the Washington coast. The vessels include cargo ships, fish processors and passenger ships.

Hart says the drill on Tuesday was designed to test the effectiveness of those plans and the spill contractors' ability to carry it out. NRC Environmental Services is the private spill response contractor hired by the cooperative. NRC provided the equipment for the drill.