News Releases

MAKAH TRIBE/OIL SPILL RESPONSE: Senator Murray Announces New Federal Investment in Makah Tribe Oil Spill Response Project

Sep 09 2014

$1.1 million federal investment to come from TIGER program, which Murray created in 2009 to fund projects of regional significance and that help create and save jobs

Investment in Makah Tribe will go toward designing their Oil Spill Prevention and Response Marine Dock infrastructure; when completed, new dock will help reduce oil spill response times

Local economy depends on fishing industry; this TIGER grant will help community protect region from potentially devastating oil spill disasters

Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the Makah Tribe will receive $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. This investment will go toward their Oil Spill Prevention and Response Marine Dock planning proposal and will help the Tribe continue their critical work protecting waters in the region from the threat of devastating oil spills.

“I am proud to announce this important investment in the Makah Tribe’s work to protect our waters from oil spills, which would be devastating for local fishermen, the economy, and the environment,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I want to commend the Makah Tribe for their strong application and I appreciate Secretary Foxx’s support for this important regional investment.”

Since 2010, the Makah Tribe has entered into agreements with the State of Washington and the Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) to moor the only oil spill response vessels on the Washington Coast at the Makah Marina. The State and MSRC fund and maintain the three response vehicles. However, the Makah are responsible for maintenance of the docks, which do not adequately accommodate the vessels. The proposed new access dock will be designed specifically to accommodate oil spill prevention and preparedness. Completion of this project will contribute to compliance with federal requirements to shorten oil spill response times and increase recovery capacity and oil storage; regulations which will require storing more boom, skimmers, and spill response equipment. Additionally, the new response dock will incorporate an incident command post that will serve as a communications hub during spill response.

The TIGER Grant Program was created by Senator Murray in 2009 to provide competitively awarded grants through the U.S. Department of Transportation to transportation projects throughout the country that support economic growth and employ local workers. The Murray-authored program had provided approximately $3.5 billion in job-creating transportation projects in every corner of the country before this latest round of investments, which includes $600 million more in critical projects.

Senator Murray talked to Secretary Foxx recently to express support for the Makah Tribe’s project, as well as other projects throughout Washington state.