Department of Ecology turns to Twitter to alert residents to hazards

December 28, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 28, 2010

Evergreen State residents can turn to Twitter for up-to-date information about oil and hazardous material spills.

The state Department of Ecology has enlisted the micro-blogging service to disseminate accurate, credible and timely information to the media and public about spill response, preparedness and prevention issues and activities including.

The effort also includes a spill-specific website, a presence on Facebook and the agency’s EcoConnect blog.

“In the past year alone, Ecology responded to more than 3,600 reported spills and conducted about 1,200 field responses,” Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program Manager Dale Jensen said. “The breadth of what we do to protect our environment, our economy and our cultural resources is immense.”

The spills included a 2009 Issaquah Creek incident near Darigold.

Besides spill-related issues, the agency uses social media tools to provide and share information about activities to protect, preserve and enhance the environment.

“Our goal is to use social media to engage as many people as we can about preventing spills from happening in the first place — our No. 1 priority,” Jensen said. “We also want to ensure that the state’s oil handling and vessel shipping industry is prepared to mount a rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated response to any spill that might occur. We definitely want to share information and ideas about our readiness to respond.”

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