U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 30, 2023
In Executive Orders 12580 and 12777, the President delegated certain functions and responsibilities vested in him by the CWA, CERCLA, and the OPA.
(a) Federal agencies should:
(1) Plan for emergencies and develop procedures for addressing oil discharges and releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants;
(2) Coordinate their planning, preparedness, and response activities with one another;
(3) Coordinate their planning, preparedness, and response activities with affected states, local governments, and private entities; and
(4) Make available those facilities or resources that may be useful in a response situation, consistent with agency authorities and capabilities.
(b) Three fundamental kinds of activities are performed pursuant to the NCP:
(1) Preparedness planning and coordination for response to a discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant;
(2) Notification and communications; and
(3) Response operations at the scene of a discharge or release.
(c) The organizational elements created to perform these activities are:
(1) The NRT, responsible for national response and preparedness planning, for coordinating regional planning, and for providing policy guidance and support to the Regional Response Teams (RRTs). NRT membership consists of representatives from the agencies specified in § 300.175(b).
(2) RRTs, responsible for regional planning and preparedness activities before response actions, and for providing advice and support to the OSC or RPM when activated during a response. RRT membership consists of designated representatives from each federal agency participating in the NRT together with state and (as agreed upon by the states) local government representatives.
(3) The OSC and the RPM, primarily responsible for directing response efforts and coordinating all other efforts at the scene of a discharge or release. The other responsibilities of OSCs and RPMs are described in § 300.135.
(4) Area Committees, responsible for developing, under direction of the OSC, ACPs for each area designated by the President. Responsibilities of Area Committees are described in § 300.205(c).
(d) The basic framework for the response management structure is a system (e.g., a unified command system) that brings together the functions of the Federal Government, the state government, and the responsible party to achieve an effective and efficient response, where the OSC maintains authority.
(e)(1) The organizational concepts of the national response system are depicted in the following Figures 1a and 1b:
(2) The standard federal regional boundaries (which are also the geographic areas of responsibility for the RRTs) are shown in the following Figure 2:
(3) The USCG District boundaries are shown in the following Figure 3:
National planning and coordination is accomplished through the NRT.
(a) The NRT consists of representatives from the agencies named in § 300.175(b). Each agency shall designate a member to the team and sufficient alternates to ensure representation, as agency resources permit. The NRT will consider requests for membership on the NRT from other agencies. Other agencies may request membership by forwarding such requests to the chair of the NRT.
(b) The chair of the NRT shall be the representative of EPA and the vice chair shall be the representative of the USCG, with the exception of periods of activation because of response action. During activation, the chair shall be the member agency providing the OSC/RPM. The vice chair shall maintain records of NRT activities along with national, regional, and area plans for response actions.
(c) While the NRT desires to achieve a consensus on all matters brought before it, certain matters may prove unresolvable by this means. In such cases, each agency serving as a participating agency on the NRT may be accorded one vote in NRT proceedings.
(d) The NRT may establish such bylaws and committees as it deems appropriate to further the purposes for which it is established.
(e) The NRT shall evaluate methods of responding to discharges or releases; shall recommend any changes needed in the response organization; and shall recommend to the Administrator of EPA changes to the NCP designed to improve the effectiveness of the national response system, including drafting of regulatory language.
(f) The NRT shall provide policy and program direction to the RRTs.
(g) The NRT may consider and make recommendations to appropriate agencies on the training, equipping, and protection of response teams and necessary research, development, demonstration, and evaluation to improve response capabilities.
(h) Direct planning and preparedness responsibilities of the NRT include:
(1) Maintaining national preparedness to respond to a major discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant that is beyond regional capabilities;
(2) Publishing guidance documents for preparation and implementation of SARA Title III local emergency response plans;
(3) Monitoring incoming reports from all RRTs and activating for a response action, when necessary;
(4) Coordinating a national program to assist member agencies in preparedness planning and response, and enhancing coordination of member agency preparedness programs;
(5) Developing procedures, in coordination with the NSFCC, as appropriate, to ensure the coordination of federal, state, and local governments, and private response to oil discharges and releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants;
(6) Monitoring response-related research and development, testing, and evaluation activities of NRT agencies to enhance coordination, avoid duplication of effort, and facilitate research in support of response activities;
(7) Developing recommendations for response training and for enhancing the coordination of available resources among agencies with training responsibilities under the NCP;
(8) Reviewing regional responses to oil discharges and hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant releases, including an evaluation of equipment readiness and coordination among responsible public agencies and private organizations; and
(9) Assisting in developing a national exercise program, in coordination with the NSFCC, to ensure preparedness and coordination nationwide.
(i) The NRT will consider matters referred to it for advice or resolution by an RRT.
(j) The NRT should be activated as an emergency response team:
(1) When an oil discharge or hazardous substance release:
(i) Exceeds the response capability of the region in which it occurs;
(ii) Transects regional boundaries; or
(iii) Involves a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States or the environment, substantial amounts of property, or substantial threats to natural resources;
(2) If requested by any NRT member.
(k) When activated for a response action, the NRT shall meet at the call of the chair and may:
(1) Monitor and evaluate reports from the OSC/RPM and recommend to the OSC/RPM, through the RRT, actions to combat the discharge or release;
(2) Request other federal, state, and local governments, or private agencies, to provide resources under their existing authorities to combat a discharge or release, or to monitor response operations; and
(3) Coordinate the supply of equipment, personnel, or technical advice to the affected region from other regions or districts.
(a) Regional planning and coordination of preparedness and response actions is accomplished through the RRT. In the case of a discharge of oil, preparedness activities will be carried out in conjunction with Area Committees, as appropriate. The RRT agency membership parallels that of the NRT, as described in § 300.110, but also includes state and local representation. The RRT provides:
(1) The appropriate regional mechanism for development and coordination of preparedness activities before a response action is taken and for coordination of assistance and advice to the OSC/RPM during such response actions; and
(2) Guidance to Area Committees, as appropriate, to ensure inter-area consistency and consistency of individual ACPs with the RCP and NCP.
(b) The two principal components of the RRT mechanism are a standing team, which consists of designated representatives from each participating federal agency, state governments, and local governments (as agreed upon by the states); and incident-specific teams formed from the standing team when the RRT is activated for a response. On incident-specific teams, participation by the RRT member agencies will relate to the technical nature of the incident and its geographic location.
(1) The standing team's jurisdiction corresponds to the standard federal regions, except for Alaska, Oceania in the Pacific, and the Caribbean area, each of which has a separate standing RRT. The role of the standing RRT includes communications systems and procedures, planning, coordination, training, evaluation, preparedness, and related matters on a regionwide basis. It also includes coordination of Area Committees for these functions in areas within their respective regions, as appropriate.
(2) The role of the incident-specific team is determined by the operational requirements of the response to a specific discharge or release. Appropriate levels of activation and/or notification of the incident-specific RRT, including participation by state and local governments, shall be determined by the designated RRT chair for the incident, based on the RCP. The incident-specific RRT supports the designated OSC/RPM. The designated OSC/RPM directs response efforts and coordinates all other efforts at the scene of a discharge or release.
(c) The representatives of EPA and the USCG shall act as co-chairs of RRTs except when the RRT is activated. When the RRT is activated for response actions, the chair shall be the member agency providing the OSC/RPM.
(d) Each participating agency should designate one member and at least one alternate member to the RRT. Agencies whose regional subdivisions do not correspond to the standard federal regions may designate additional representatives to the standing RRT to ensure appropriate coverage of the standard federal region. Participating states may also designate one member and at least one alternate member to the RRT. Indian tribal governments may arrange for representation with the RRT appropriate to their geographical location. All agencies and states may also provide additional representatives as observers to meetings of the RRT.
(e) RRT members should designate representatives and alternates from their agencies as resource personnel for RRT activities, including RRT work planning, and membership on incident-specific teams in support of the OSCs/RPMs.
(f) Federal RRT members or their representatives should provide OSCs/RPMs with assistance from their respective federal agencies commensurate with agency responsibilities, resources, and capabilities within the region. During a response action, the members of the RRT should seek to make available the resources of their agencies to the OSC/RPM as specified in the RCP and ACP.
(g) RRT members should nominate appropriately qualified representatives from their agencies to work with OSCs in developing and maintaining ACPs.
(h) Affected states are encouraged to participate actively in all RRT activities. Each state governor is requested to assign an office or agency to represent the state on the appropriate RRT; to designate representatives to work with the RRT in developing RCPs; to plan for, make available, and coordinate state resources; and to serve as the contact point for coordination of response with local government agencies, whether or not represented on the RRT. The state's RRT representative should keep the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), described in § 300.205(d), apprised of RRT activities and coordinate RRT activities with the SERC. Local governments are invited to participate in activities on the appropriate RRT as provided by state law or as arranged by the state's representative. Indian tribes are also invited to participate in such activities.
(i) The standing RRT shall recommend changes in the regional response organization as needed, revise the RCP as needed, evaluate the preparedness of the participating agencies and the effectiveness of ACPs for the federal response to discharges and releases, and provide technical assistance for preparedness to the response community. The RRT should:
(1) Review and comment, to the extent practicable, on local emergency response plans or other issues related to the preparation, implementation, or exercise of such plans upon request of a local emergency planning committee;
(2) Evaluate regional and local responses to discharges or releases on a continuing basis, considering available legal remedies, equipment readiness, and coordination among responsible public agencies and private organizations, and recommend improvements;
(3) Recommend revisions of the NCP to the NRT, based on observations of response operations;
(4) Review OSC actions to ensure that RCPs and ACPs are effective;
(5) Encourage the state and local response community to improve its preparedness for response;
(6) In coordination with Area Committees and in accordance with any applicable laws, regulations, or requirements, conduct advance planning for use of dispersants, surface washing agents, surface collecting agents, burning agents, bioremediation agents, or other chemical agents in accordance with subpart J of this part;
(7) Be prepared to provide response resources to major discharges or releases outside the region;
(8) Conduct or participate in training and exercises as necessary to encourage preparedness activities of the response community within the region;
(9) Meet at least semiannually to review response actions carried out during the preceding period, consider changes in RCPs, and recommend changes in ACPs;
(10) Provide letter reports on RRT activities to the NRT twice a year, no later than January 31 and July 31. At a minimum, reports should summarize recent activities, organizational changes, operational concerns, and efforts to improve state and local coordination; and
(11) Ensure maximum participation in the national exercise program for announced and unannounced exercises.
(j)(1) The RRT may be activated by the chair as an incident-specific response team when a discharge or release:
(i) Exceeds the response capability available to the OSC/RPM in the place where it occurs;
(ii) Transects state boundaries;
(iii) May pose a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States or the environment, or to regionally significant amounts of property; or
(iv) Is a worst case discharge, as described in § 300.324. RCPs shall specify detailed criteria for activation of RRTs.
(2) The RRT will be activated during any discharge or release upon a request from the OSC/RPM, or from any RRT representative, to the chair of the RRT. Requests for RRT activation shall later be confirmed in writing. Each representative, or an appropriate alternate, should be notified immediately when the RRT is activated.
(3) During prolonged removal or remedial action, the RRT may not need to be activated or may need to be activated only in a limited sense, or may need to have available only those member agencies of the RRT who are directly affected or who can provide direct response assistance.
(4) When the RRT is activated for a discharge or release, agency representatives shall meet at the call of the chair and may:
(i) Monitor and evaluate reports from the OSC/RPM, advise the OSC/RPM on the duration and extent of response, and recommend to the OSC/RPM specific actions to respond to the discharge or release;
(ii) Request other federal, state, or local governments, or private agencies, to provide resources under their existing authorities to respond to a discharge or release or to monitor response operations;
(iii) Help the OSC/RPM prepare information releases for the public and for communication with the NRT;
(iv) If the circumstances warrant, make recommendations to the regional or district head of the agency providing the OSC/RPM that a different OSC/RPM should be designated; and
(v) Submit pollution reports to the NRC as significant developments occur.
(5) At the regional level, a Regional Response Center (RRC) may provide facilities and personnel for communications, information storage, and other requirements for coordinating response. The location of each RRC should be provided in the RCP.
(6) When the RRT is activated, affected states may participate in all RRT deliberations. State government representatives participating in the RRT have the same status as any federal member of the RRT.
(7) The RRT can be deactivated when the incident-specific RRT chair determines that the OSC/RPM no longer requires RRT assistance.
(8) Notification of the RRT may be appropriate when full activation is not necessary, with systematic communication of pollution reports or other means to keep RRT members informed as to actions of potential concern to a particular agency, or to assist in later RRT evaluation of regionwide response effectiveness.
(k) Whenever there is insufficient national policy guidance on a matter before the RRT, a technical matter requiring solution, a question concerning interpretation of the NCP, or a disagreement on discretionary actions among RRT members that cannot be resolved at the regional level, it may be referred to the NRT, described in § 300.110, for advice.
(a) The OSC/RPM directs response efforts and coordinates all other efforts at the scene of a discharge or release. As part of the planning and preparedness for response, OSCs shall be predesignated by the regional or district head of the lead agency. EPA and the USCG shall predesignate OSCs for all areas in each region, except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. RPMs shall be assigned by the lead agency to manage remedial or other response actions at NPL sites, except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.
(1) The USCG shall provide OSCs for oil discharges, including discharges from facilities and vessels under the jurisdiction of another federal agency, within or threatening the coastal zone. The USCG shall also provide OSCs for the removal of releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants into or threatening the coastal zone, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. The USCG shall not provide predesignated OSCs for discharges or releases from hazardous waste management facilities or in similarly chronic incidents. The USCG shall provide an initial response to discharges or releases from hazardous waste management facilities within the coastal zone in accordance with Department of Transportation (DOT)/EPA Instrument of Redelegation (May 27, 1988) except as provided by paragraph (b) of this section. The USCG OSC shall contact the cognizant RPM as soon as it is evident that a removal may require a follow-up remedial action, to ensure that the required planning can be initiated and an orderly transition to an EPA or state lead can occur.
(2) EPA shall provide OSCs for discharges or releases into or threatening the inland zone and shall provide RPMs for federally funded remedial actions, except in the case of state-lead federally funded response and as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. EPA will also assume all remedial actions at NPL sites in the coastal zone, even where removals are initiated by the USCG, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) In general, USCG Captains of the Port (COTP) shall serve as the designated OSCs for areas in the coastal zone for which an ACP is required under CWA section 311(j) and EPA Regional Administrators shall designate OSCs for areas in the inland zone for which an ACP is required under CWA section 311(j).
(c) For releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants, when the release is on, or the sole source of the release is from, any facility or vessel, including vessels bareboat-chartered and operated, under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of DOD, DOE, or other federal agency:
(1) In the case of DOD or DOE, DOD or DOE shall provide OSCs/RPMs responsible for taking all response actions; and
(2) In the case of a federal agency other than EPA, DOD, or DOE, such agency shall provide OSCs for all removal actions that are not emergencies and shall provide RPMs for all remedial actions.
(d) DOD will be the removal response authority with respect to incidents involving DOD military weapons and munitions or weapons and munitions under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of DOD.
(e) The OSC is responsible for overseeing development of the ACP in the area of the OSC's responsibility. ACPs shall, as appropriate, be accomplished in cooperation with the RRT, and designated state and local representatives. In contingency planning and removal, the OSC coordinates, directs, and reviews the work of other agencies, Area Committees, responsible parties, and contractors to assure compliance with the NCP, decision document, consent decree, administrative order, and lead agency-approved plans applicable to the response.
(f) The RPM is the prime contact for remedial or other response actions being taken (or needed) at sites on the proposed or promulgated NPL, and for sites not on the NPL but under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of a federal agency. The RPM's responsibilities include:
(1) Fund-financed response: The RPM coordinates, directs, and reviews the work of EPA, states and local governments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and all other agencies and contractors to assure compliance with the NCP. Based upon the reports of these parties, the RPM recommends action for decisions by lead agency officials. The RPM's period of responsibility begins prior to initiation of the remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS), described in § 300.430, and continues through design, remedial action, deletion of the site from the NPL, and the CERCLA cost recovery activity. When a removal and remedial action occur at the same site, the OSC and RPM should coordinate to ensure an orderly transition of responsibility.
(2) Federal-lead non-Fund-financed response: The RPM coordinates, directs, and reviews the work of other agencies, responsible parties, and contractors to assure compliance with the NCP, Record of Decision (ROD), consent decree, administrative order, and lead agency-approved plans applicable to the response. Based upon the reports of these parties, the RPM shall recommend action for decisions by lead agency officials. The RPM's period of responsibility begins prior to initiation of the RI/FS, described in § 300.430, and continues through design and remedial action and the CERCLA cost recovery activity. The OSC and RPM shall ensure orderly transition of responsibilities from one to the other.
(3) The RPM shall participate in all decision-making processes necessary to ensure compliance with the NCP, including, as appropriate, agreements between EPA or other federal agencies and the state. The RPM may also review responses where EPA has preauthorized a person to file a claim for reimbursement to determine that the response was consistent with the terms of such preauthorization in cases where claims are filed for reimbursement.
(g)(1) Where a support agency has been identified through a cooperative agreement, Superfund Memorandum of Agreement (SMOA), or other agreement, that agency may designate a support agency coordinator (SAC) to provide assistance, as requested, by the OSC/RPM. The SAC is the prime representative of the support agency for response actions.
(2) The SAC's responsibilities may include:
(i) Providing and reviewing data and documents as requested by the OSC/RPM during the planning, design, and cleanup activities of the response action; and
(ii) Providing other assistance as requested.
(h)(1) The lead agency should provide appropriate training for its OSCs, RPMs, and other response personnel to carry out their responsibilities under the NCP.
(2) OSCs/RPMs should ensure that persons designated to act as their on-scene representatives are adequately trained and prepared to carry out actions under the NCP, to the extent practicable.
(a) The National Response Center (NRC), located at USCG Headquarters, is the national communications center, continuously manned for handling activities related to response actions. The NRC acts as the single point of contact for all pollution incident reporting, and as the NRT communications center. Notice of discharges and releases must be made telephonically through a toll free number or a special local number (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) and collect calls accepted). (Notification details appear in §§ 300.300 and 300.405.) The NRC receives and immediately relays telephone notices of discharges or releases to the appropriate predesignated federal OSC. The telephone report is distributed to any interested NRT member agency or federal entity that has established a written agreement or understanding with the NRC. The NRC evaluates incoming information and immediately advises FEMA of a potential major disaster situation.
(b) The Commandant, USCG, in conjunction with other NRT agencies, shall provide the necessary personnel, communications, plotting facilities, and equipment for the NRC.
(c) Notice of an oil discharge or release of a hazardous substance in an amount equal to or greater than the reportable quantity must be made immediately in accordance with 33 CFR part 153, subpart B, and 40 CFR part 302, respectively. Notification shall be made to the NRC Duty Officer, HQ USCG, Washington, DC, telephone (800) 424–8802 or (202) 267–2675. All notices of discharges or releases received at the NRC will be relayed immediately by telephone to the OSC.
(a) In accordance with CWA and CERCLA, the Administrator of EPA or the Secretary of the department in which the USCG is operating, as appropriate, is authorized to act for the United States to take response measures deemed necessary to protect the public health or welfare or environment from discharges of oil or releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants except with respect to such releases on or from vessels or facilities under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of other federal agencies.
(b) The Administrator of EPA or the Secretary of the department in which the USCG is operating, as appropriate, is authorized to initiate and, in the case of a discharge posing a substantial threat to public health or welfare of the United States is required to initiate and direct, appropriate response activities when the Administrator or Secretary determines that any oil or CWA hazardous substance is discharged or there is a substantial threat of such discharge from any vessel or offshore or onshore facility into or on the navigable waters of the United States, on the adjoining shorelines to the navigable waters, into or on the waters of the exclusive economic zone, or that may affect natural resources belonging to, appertaining to, or under exclusive management authority of the United States; or
(c) The Administrator of EPA or the Secretary of the department in which the USCG is operating, as appropriate, is authorized to initiate appropriate response activities when the Administrator or Secretary determines that any hazardous substance is released or there is a threat of such a release into the environment, or there is a release or threat of release into the environment of any pollutant or contaminant which may present an imminent and substantial danger to the public health or welfare of the United States.
(d) In addition to any actions taken by a state or local government, the Administrator of EPA or the Secretary of the department in which the USCG is operating may request the U.S. Attorney General to secure the relief from any person, including the owner or operator of the vessel or facility necessary to abate a threat or, after notice to the affected state, take any other action authorized by section 311 of the CWA or section 106 of CERCLA as appropriate, including issuing administrative orders, that may be necessary to protect the public health or welfare, if the Administrator or Secretary determines:
(1) That there may be an imminent and substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States or the environment of the United States, including fish, shellfish, and wildlife, public and private property, shorelines, beaches, habitats, and other living and nonliving natural resources under the jurisdiction or control of the United States, because of an actual or threatened discharge of oil or a CWA hazardous substance from any vessel or offshore or onshore facility into or upon the navigable waters of the United States; or
(2) That there may be an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health or welfare of the United States or the environment because of a release of a CERCLA hazardous substance from a facility.
(e) Response actions to remove discharges originating from operations conducted subject to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act shall be in accordance with the NCP.
(f) Where appropriate, when a discharge or release involves radioactive materials, the lead or support federal agency shall act consistent with the notification and assistance procedures described in the appropriate Federal Radiological Plan. For the purpose of the NCP, the FRERP (24 CFR part 2401) is the appropriate plan. Most radiological discharges and releases do not result in FRERP activation and should be handled in accordance with the NCP. However, releases from nuclear incidents subject to requirements for financial protection established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under the Price-Anderson amendments (section 170) of the Atomic Energy Act are specifically excluded from CERCLA and NCP requirements.
(g) Removal actions involving nuclear weapons should be conducted in accordance with the joint Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and FEMA Agreement for Response to Nuclear Incidents and Nuclear Weapons Significant Incidents (January 8, 1981).
(h) If the situation is beyond the capability of state and local governments and the statutory authority of federal agencies, the President may, under the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, act upon a request by the governor and declare a major disaster or emergency and appoint a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) to coordinate all federal disaster assistance activities. In such cases, the OSC/RPM would continue to carry out OSC/RPM responsibilities under the NCP, but would coordinate those activities with the FCO to ensure consistency with other federal disaster assistance activities.
(i) In the event of a declaration of a major disaster by the President, the FEMA may activate the Federal Response Plan (FRP). A FCO, designated by the President, may implement the FRP and coordinate and direct emergency assistance and disaster relief of impacted individuals, business, and public services under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief Act. Delivery of federal assistance is facilitated through twelve functional annexes to the FRP known as Emergency Support Functions (ESFs). EPA coordinates activities under ESF #10—Hazardous Materials, which addresses preparedness and response to hazardous materials and oil incidents caused by a natural disaster or other catastrophic event. In such cases, the OSC/RPM should coordinate response activities with the FCO, through the incident-specific ESF #10 Chair, to ensure consistency with federal disaster assistance activities.
(a) The OSC/RPM, consistent with §§ 300.120 and 300.125, shall direct response efforts and coordinate all other efforts at the scene of a discharge or release. As part of the planning and preparation for response, the OSCs/RPMs shall be predesignated by the regional or district head of the lead agency.
(b) The first federal official affiliated with an NRT member agency to arrive at the scene of a discharge or release should coordinate activities under the NCP and is authorized to initiate, in consultation with the OSC, any necessary actions normally carried out by the OSC until the arrival of the predesignated OSC. This official may initiate federal fund-financed actions only as authorized by the OSC or, if the OSC is unavailable, the authorized representative of the lead agency.
(c) The OSC/RPM shall, to the extent practicable, collect pertinent facts about the discharge or release, such as its source and cause; the identification of potentially responsible parties; the nature, amount, and location of discharged or released materials; the probable direction and time of travel of discharged or released materials; whether the discharge is a worst case discharge as discussed in § 300.324; the pathways to human and environmental exposure; the potential impact on human health, welfare, and safety and the environment; whether the discharge or release poses a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States as discussed in § 300.322; the potential impact on natural resources and property which may be affected; priorities for protecting human health and welfare and the environment; and appropriate cost documentation.
(d) The OSC's/RPM's efforts shall be coordinated with other appropriate federal, state, local, and private response agencies. OSCs/RPMs may designate capable persons from federal, state, or local agencies to act as their on-scene representatives. State and local governments, however, are not authorized to take actions under subparts D and E of the NCP that involve expenditures of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund or CERCLA funds unless an appropriate contract or cooperative agreement has been established. The basic framework for the response management structure is a system (e.g., a unified command system), that brings together the functions of the federal government, the state government, and the responsible party to achieve an effective and efficient response, where the OSC maintains authority.
(e) The OSC/RPM should consult regularly with the RRT and NSFCC, as appropriate, in carrying out the NCP and keep the RRT and NSFCC, as appropriate, informed of activities under the NCP.
(f) The OSC/RPM shall advise the support agency as promptly as possible of reported releases.
(g) The OSC/RPM should evaluate incoming information and immediately advise FEMA of potential major disaster situations.
(h) In those instances where a possible public health emergency exists, the OSC/RPM should notify the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) representative to the RRT. Throughout response actions, the OSC/RPM may call upon the HHS representative for assistance in determining public health threats and call upon the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and HHS for assistance on worker health and safety issues.
(i) All federal agencies should plan for emergencies and develop procedures for dealing with oil discharges and releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants from vessels and facilities under their jurisdiction. All federal agencies, therefore, are responsible for designating the office that coordinates response to such incidents in accordance with the NCP and applicable federal regulations and guidelines.
(j)(1) The OSC/RPM shall ensure that the trustees for natural resources are promptly notified of discharges or releases.
(2) The OSC or RPM shall coordinate all response activities with the affected natural resource trustees and, for discharges of oil, the OSC shall consult with the affected trustees on the appropriate removal action to be taken.
(k) Where the OSC/RPM becomes aware that a discharge or release may affect any endangered or threatened species or their habitat, the OSC/RPM shall consult with the Department of Interior (DOI), or the Department of Commerce (DOC) (NOAA) and, if appropriate, the cognizant federal land managing agency.
(l) The OSC/RPM is responsible for addressing worker health and safety concerns at a response scene, in accordance with § 300.150.
(m) The OSC shall submit pollution reports to the RRT and other appropriate agencies as significant developments occur during response actions, through communications networks or procedures agreed to by the RRT and covered in the RCP.
(n) OSCs/RPMs should ensure that all appropriate public and private interests are kept informed and that their concerns are considered throughout a response, to the extent practicable, consistent with the requirements of § 300.155 of this part.
(a) If a discharge or release moves from the area covered by one ACP or RCP into another area, the authority for response actions should likewise shift. If a discharge or release affects areas covered by two or more ACPs or RCPs, the response mechanisms of each applicable plan may be activated. In this case, response actions of all regions concerned shall be fully coordinated as detailed in the RCPs and ACPs.
(b) There shall be only one OSC and/or RPM at any time during the course of a response operation. Should a discharge or release affect two or more areas, EPA, the USCG, DOD, DOE, or other lead agency, as appropriate, shall give prime consideration to the area vulnerable to the greatest threat, in determining which agency should provide the OSC and/or RPM. The RRT shall designate the OSC and/or RPM if the RRT member agencies who have response authority within the affected areas are unable to agree on the designation. The NRT shall designate the OSC and/or RPM if members of one RRT or two adjacent RRTs are unable to agree on the designation.
(c) Where the USCG has initially provided the OSC for response to a release from hazardous waste management facilities located in the coastal zone, responsibility for response action shall shift to EPA or another federal agency, as appropriate.
(a) The NSF is a special team established by the USCG, including the three USCG Strike Teams, the Public Information Assist Team (PIAT), and the NSFCC. The NSF is available to assist OSCs/RPMs in their preparedness and response duties.
(1) The three Strike Teams (Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific) provide trained personnel and specialized equipment to assist the OSC in training for spill response, stabilizing and containing the spill, and in monitoring or directing the response actions of the responsible parties and/or contractors. The OSC has a specific team designated for initial contact and may contact that team directly for any assistance.
(2) The NSFCC can provide the following support to the OSC:
(i) Technical assistance, equipment and other resources to augment the OSC staff during spill response.
(ii) Assistance in coordinating the use of private and public resources in support of the OSC during a response to or a threat of a worst case discharge of oil.
(iii) Review of the area contingency plan, including an evaluation of equipment readiness and coordination among responsible public agencies and private organizations.
(iv) Assistance in locating spill response resources for both response and planning, using the NSFCC's national and international computerized inventory of spill response resources.
(v) Coordination and evaluation of pollution response exercises.
(vi) Inspection of district prepositioned pollution response equipment.
(3) PIAT is an element of the NSFCC staff which is available to assist OSCs to meet the demands for public information during a response or exercise. Its use is encouraged any time the OSC requires outside public affairs support. Requests for PIAT assistance may be made through the NSFCC or NRC.
(b)(1) The Environmental Response Team (ERT) is established by EPA in accordance with its disaster and emergency responsibilities. The ERT has expertise in treatment technology, biology, chemistry, hydrology, geology, and engineering.
(2) The ERT can provide access to special decontamination equipment for chemical releases and advice to the OSC/RPM in hazard evaluation; risk assessment; multimedia sampling and analysis program; on-site safety, including development and implementation plans; cleanup techniques and priorities; water supply decontamination and protection; application of dispersants; environmental assessment; degree of cleanup required; and disposal of contaminated material.
(3) The ERT also provides both introductory and intermediate level training courses to prepare response personnel.
(4) OSC/RPM or RRT requests for ERT support should be made to the EPA representative on the RRT; EPA Headquarters, Director, Emergency Response Division; or the appropriate EPA regional emergency coordinator.
(c) Scientific Support Coordinators (SSCs) may be designated by the OSC (and RPM in the case of EPA SSCs) as the principal advisors for scientific issues, communication with the scientific community, and coordination of requests for assistance from state and federal agencies regarding scientific studies. The SSC strives for a consensus on scientific issues affecting the response, but ensures that differing opinions within the community are communicated to the OSC/RPM.
(1) Generally, SSCs are provided by NOAA in the coastal zones, and by EPA in the inland zone. OSC/RPM requests for SSC support can be made directly to the SSC assigned to the area or to the agency member of the RRT. NOAA SSCs can also be requested through NOAA's SSC program office in Seattle, WA. NOAA SSCs are assigned to USCG Districts and are supported by a scientific support team that includes expertise in environmental chemistry, oil slick tracking, pollutant transport modeling, natural resources at risk, environmental tradeoffs of countermeasures and cleanup, and information management.
(2) During a response, the SSC serves on the federal OSC's/RPM's staff and may, at the request of the OSC/RPM, lead the scientific team and be responsible for providing scientific support for operational decisions and for coordinating on-scene scientific activity. Depending on the nature and location of the incident, the SSC integrates expertise from governmental agencies, universities, community representatives, and industry to assist the OSC/RPM in evaluating the hazards and potential effects of releases and in developing response strategies.
(3) At the request of the OSC, the SSC may facilitate the OSC's work with the lead administrative trustee for natural resources to ensure coordination between damage assessment data collection efforts and data collected in support of response operations.
(4) SSCs support the Regional Response Teams and the Area Committees in preparing regional and area contingency plans and in conducting spill training and exercises. For area plans, the SSC provides leadership for the synthesis and integration of environmental information required for spill response decisions in support of the OSC.
(d)(1) SUPSALV has an extensive salvage/search and recovery equipment inventory with the requisite knowledge and expertise to support these operations, including specialized salvage, firefighting, and petroleum, oil and lubricants offloading capability.
(2) When possible, SUPSALV will provide equipment for training exercises in support of national and regional contingency planning objectives.
(3) The OSC/RPM may request assistance directly from SUPSALV. Formal requests are routed through the Chief of Naval Operations (N312).
(e) For marine salvage operations, OSCs/RPMs with responsibility for monitoring, evaluating, or supervising these activities should request technical assistance from DOD, the Strike Teams, or commercial salvors as necessary to ensure that proper actions are taken. Marine salvage operations generally fall into five categories: afloat salvage; offshore salvage; river and harbor clearance; cargo salvage; and rescue towing. Each category requires different knowledge and specialized types of equipment. The complexity of such operations may be further compounded by local environmental and geographic conditions. The nature of marine salvage and the conditions under which it occurs combine to make such operations imprecise, difficult, hazardous, and expensive. Thus, responsible parties or other persons attempting to perform such operations without adequate knowledge, equipment, and experience could aggravate, rather than relieve, the situation.
(f) Radiological Emergency Response Teams (RERTs) have been established by EPA's Office of Radiation Programs (ORP) to provide response and support for incidents or sites containing radiological hazards. Expertise is available in radiation monitoring, radionuclide analysis, radiation health physics, and risk assessment. RERTs can provide on-site support including mobile monitoring laboratories for field analyses of samples and fixed laboratories for radiochemical sampling and analyses. Requests for support may be made 24 hours a day via the NRC or directly to the EPA Radiological Response Coordinator in the Office of Radiation Programs. Assistance is also available from DOE and other federal agencies.
(g)(1) DRGs assist the OSC by providing technical assistance, personnel, and equipment, including pre-positioned equipment. Each DRG consists of all Coast Guard personnel and equipment, including marine firefighting equipment, in its district, additional pre-positioned equipment, and a District Response Advisory Team (DRAT) that is available to provide support to the OSC in the event that a spill exceeds local response capabilities. Each DRG:
(i) Shall provide technical assistance, equipment, and other resources, as available, when requested by an OSC through the USCG representative to the RRT;
(ii) Shall ensure maintenance of all USCG response equipment within its district;
(iii) May provide technical assistance in the preparation of the ACP; and
(iv) Shall review each of those plans that affect its area of geographic responsibility.
(2) In deciding where to locate personnel and pre-positioned equipment, the USCG shall give priority emphasis to:
(i) The availability of facilities for loading and unloading heavy or bulky equipment by barge;
(ii) The proximity to an airport capable of supporting large military transport aircraft;
(iii) The flight time to provide response to oil spills in all areas of the Coast Guard district with the potential for marine casualties;
(iv) The availability of trained local personnel capable of responding in an oil spill emergency; and
(v) Areas where large quantities of petroleum products are transported.
(h) The NPFC is responsible for implementing those portions of Title I of the OPA that have been delegated to the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating. The NPFC is responsible for addressing funding issues arising from discharges and threats of discharges of oil. The NPFC:
(1) Issues Certificates of Financial Responsibility to owners and operators of vessels to pay for costs and damages that are incurred by their vessels as a result of oil discharges;
(2) Provides funding for various response organizations for timely abatement and removal actions related to oil discharges;
(3) Provides equitable compensation to claimants who sustain costs and damages from oil discharges when the responsible party fails to do so;
(4) Recovers monies from persons liable for costs and damages resulting from oil discharges to the full extent of liability under the law; and
(5) Provides funds to initiate natural resource damage assessments.
(a) Response actions under the NCP will comply with the provisions for response action worker safety and health in 29 CFR 1910.120. The NRS meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.120 concerning use of an incident command system.
(b) In a response action taken by a responsible party, the responsible party must assure that an occupational safety and health program consistent with 29 CFR 1910.120 is made available for the protection of workers at the response site.
(c) In a response taken under the NCP by a lead agency, an occupational safety and health program should be made available for the protection of workers at the response site, consistent with, and to the extent required by, 29 CFR 1910.120. Contracts relating to a response action under the NCP should contain assurances that the contractor at the response site will comply with this program and with any applicable provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) (OSH Act) and state laws with plans approved under section 18 of the OSH Act.
(d) When a state, or political subdivision of a state, without an OSHA-approved state plan is the lead agency for response, the state or political subdivision must comply with standards in 40 CFR part 311, promulgated by EPA pursuant to section 126(f) of SARA.
(e) Requirements, standards, and regulations of the OSH Act and of state OSH laws not directly referenced in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, must be complied with where applicable. Federal OSH Act requirements include, among other things, Construction Standards (29 CFR part 1926), General Industry Standards (29 CFR part 1910), and the general duty requirement of section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act (29 U.S.C. 654(a)(1)). No action by the lead agency with respect to response activities under the NCP constitutes an exercise of statutory authority within the meaning of section 4(b)(1) of the OSH Act. All governmental agencies and private employers are directly responsible for the health and safety of their own employees.
(a) When an incident occurs, it is imperative to give the public prompt, accurate information on the nature of the incident and the actions underway to mitigate the damage. OSCs/RPMs and community relations personnel should ensure that all appropriate public and private interests are kept informed and that their concerns are considered throughout a response. They should coordinate with available public affairs/community relations resources to carry out this responsibility by establishing, as appropriate, a Joint Information Center bringing together resources from federal and state agencies and the responsible party.
(b) An on-scene news office may be established to coordinate media relations and to issue official federal information on an incident. Whenever possible, it will be headed by a representative of the lead agency. The OSC/RPM determines the location of the on-scene news office, but every effort should be made to locate it near the scene of the incident. If a participating agency believes public interest warrants the issuance of statements and an on-scene news office has not been established, the affected agency should recommend its establishment. All federal news releases or statements by participating agencies should be cleared through the OSC/RPM. Information dissemination relating to natural resource damage assessment activities shall be coordinated through the lead administrative trustee. The designated lead administrative trustee may assist the OSC/RPM by disseminating information on issues relating to damage assessment activities. Following termination of removal activity, information dissemination on damage assessment activities shall be through the lead administrative trustee.
(c) The community relations requirements specified in §§ 300.415, 300.430, and 300.435 apply to removal, remedial, and enforcement actions and are intended to promote active communication between communities affected by discharges or releases and the lead agency responsible for response actions. Community Relations Plans (CRPs) are required by EPA for certain response actions. The OSC/RPM should ensure coordination with such plans which may be in effect at the scene of a discharge or release or which may need to be developed during follow-up activities.
(a) For releases of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant, the following provisions apply:
(1) During all phases of response, the lead agency shall complete and maintain documentation to support all actions taken under the NCP and to form the basis for cost recovery. In general, documentation shall be sufficient to provide the source and circumstances of the release, the identity of responsible parties, the response action taken, accurate accounting of federal, state, or private party costs incurred for response actions, and impacts and potential impacts to the public health and welfare and the environment. Where applicable, documentation shall state when the NRC received notification of a release of a reportable quantity.
(2) The information and reports obtained by the lead agency for Fund-financed response actions shall, as appropriate, be transmitted to the chair of the RRT. Copies can then be forwarded to the NRT, members of the RRT, and others as appropriate.
(3) The lead agency shall make available to the trustees of affected natural resources information and documentation that can assist the trustees in the determination of actual or potential natural resource injuries.
(b) For discharges of oil, documentation and cost recovery provisions are described in § 300.315.
(c) Response actions undertaken by the participating agencies shall be carried out under existing programs and authorities when available. Federal agencies are to make resources available, expend funds, or participate in response to discharges and releases under their existing authority. Interagency agreements may be signed when necessary to ensure that the federal resources will be available for a timely response to a discharge or release. The ultimate decision as to the appropriateness of expending funds rests with the agency that is held accountable for such expenditures. Further funding provisions for discharges of oil are described in § 300.335.
(d) The Administrator of EPA and the Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) shall assure that the costs of health assessment or health effect studies conducted under the authority of CERCLA section 104(i) are documented in accordance with standard EPA procedures for cost recovery. Documentation shall include information on the nature of the hazardous substances addressed by the research, information concerning the locations where these substances have been found, and any available information on response actions taken concerning these substances at the location.
(a) As requested by the NRT or RRT, the OSC/RPM shall submit to the NRT or RRT a complete report on the removal operation and the actions taken. The RRT shall review the OSC report and send to the NRT a copy of the OSC report with its comments or recommendations within 30 days after the RRT has received the OSC report.
(b) The OSC report shall record the situation as it developed, the actions taken, the resources committed, and the problems encountered.
Federal agencies listed in § 300.175 have duties established by statute, executive order, or Presidential directive which may apply to federal response actions following, or in prevention of, the discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Some of these agencies also have duties relating to the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of equivalent natural resources injured or lost as a result of such discharge or release as described in subpart G of this part. The NRT, RRT, and Area Committee organizational structure, and the NCP, RCPs and ACPs, described in § 300.210, provide for agencies to coordinate with each other in carrying out these duties.
(a) Federal agencies may be called upon by an OSC/RPM during response planning and implementation to provide assistance in their respective areas of expertise, as described in § 300.175, consistent with the agencies' capabilities and authorities.
(b) In addition to their general responsibilities, federal agencies should:
(1) Make necessary information available to the Secretary of the NRT, RRTs, Area Committees, and OSCs/RPMs.
(2) Provide representatives to the NRT and RRTs and otherwise assist RRTs and OSCs, as necessary, in formulating RCPs and ACPs.
(3) Inform the NRT, RRTs, and Area Committees, consistent with national security considerations, of changes in the availability of resources that would affect the operations implemented under the NCP.
(c) All federal agencies are responsible for reporting releases of hazardous substances from facilities or vessels under their jurisdiction or control in accordance with section 103 of CERCLA.
(d) All federal agencies are encouraged to report releases of pollutants or contaminants and must report discharges of oil, as required in 40 CFR part 110, from facilities or vessels under their jurisdiction or control to the NRC.
(a) During preparedness planning or in an actual response, various federal agencies may be called upon to provide assistance in their respective areas of expertise, as indicated in paragraph (b) of this section, consistent with agency legal authorities and capabilities.
(b) The federal agencies include:
(1) USCG, as provided in 14 U.S.C. 1–3, is an agency in DOT, except when operating as an agency in the United States Navy (USN) in time of war. The USCG provides the NRT vice chair, co-chairs for the standing RRTs, and predesignated OSCs for the coastal zone, as described in § 300.120(a)(1). The USCG maintains continuously manned facilities which can be used for command, control, and surveillance of oil discharges and hazardous substance releases occurring in the coastal zone. The USCG also offers expertise in domestic and international fields of port safety and security, maritime law enforcement, ship navigation and construction, and the manning, operation, and safety of vessels and marine facilities. The USCG may enter into a contract or cooperative agreement with the appropriate state in order to implement a response action.
(2) EPA chairs the NRT and co-chairs, with the USCG, the standing RRTs; provides predesignated OSCs for all inland areas for which an ACP is required under CWA section 311(j) and for discharges and releases occurring in the inland zone and RPMs for remedial actions except as otherwise provided; and generally provides the SSC for responses in the inland zone. EPA provides expertise on human health and ecological effects of oil discharges or releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants; ecological and human health risk assessment methods; and environmental pollution control techniques. Access to EPA's scientific expertise can be facilitated through the EPA representative to the Research and Development Committee of the National Response Team; the EPA Office of Research and Development's Superfund Technical Liaisons or Regional Scientists located in EPA Regional offices; or through EPA's Office of Science Planning and Regulatory Evaluation. EPA also provides legal expertise on the interpretation of CERCLA and other environmental statutes. EPA may enter into a contract or cooperative agreement with the appropriate state in order to implement a response action.
(3) FEMA provides guidance, policy and program advice, and technical assistance in hazardous materials, chemical, and radiological emergency preparedness activities (including planning, training, and exercising). FEMA's primary point of contact for administering financial and technical assistance to state and local governments to support their efforts to develop and maintain an effective emergency management and response capability is the Preparedness, Training, and Exercises Directorate.
(4) DOD has responsibility to take all action necessary with respect to releases where either the release is on, or the sole source of the release is from, any facility or vessel under the jurisdiction, custody, or control of DOD. In addition to those capabilities provided by SUPSALV, DOD may also, consistent with its operational requirements and upon request of the OSC, provide locally deployed USN oil spill equipment and provide assistance to other federal agencies on request. The following two branches of DOD have particularly relevant expertise:
(i) The United States Army Corps of Engineers has specialized equipment and personnel for maintaining navigation channels, for removing navigation obstructions, for accomplishing structural repairs, and for performing maintenance to hydropower electric generating equipment. The Corps can also provide design services, perform construction, and provide contract writing and contract administrative services for other federal agencies.
(ii) The U.S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage (SUPSALV) is the branch of service within DOD most knowledgeable and experienced in ship salvage, shipboard damage control, and diving. The USN has an extensive array of specialized equipment and personnel available for use in these areas as well as specialized containment, collection, and removal equipment specifically designed for salvage-related and open-sea pollution incidents.
(5) DOE generally provides designated OSCs/RPMs that are responsible for taking all response actions with respect to releases where either the release is on, or the sole source of the release is from, any facility or vessel under its jurisdiction, custody, or control, including vessels bareboat-chartered and operated. In addition, under the FRERP, DOE provides advice and assistance to other OSCs/RPMs for emergency actions essential for the control of immediate radiological hazards. Incidents that qualify for DOE radiological advice and assistance are those believed to involve source, by-product, or special nuclear material or other ionizing radiation sources, including radium, and other naturally occurring radionuclides, as well as particle accelerators. Assistance is available through direct contact with the appropriate DOE Radiological Assistance Program Regional Office.
(6) The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has scientific and technical capability to measure, evaluate, and monitor, either on the ground or by use of aircraft, situations where natural resources including soil, water, wildlife, and vegetation have been impacted by fire, insects and diseases, floods, hazardous substances, and other natural or man-caused emergencies. The USDA may be contacted through Forest Service emergency staff officers who are the designated members of the RRT. Agencies within USDA have relevant capabilities and expertise as follows:
(i) The Forest Service has responsibility for protection and management of national forests and national grasslands. The Forest Service has personnel, laboratory, and field capability to measure, evaluate, monitor, and control as needed, releases of pesticides and other hazardous substances on lands under its jurisdiction.
(ii) The Agriculture Research Service (ARS) administers an applied and developmental research program in animal and plant protection and production; the use and improvement of soil, water, and air; the processing, storage, and distribution of farm products; and human nutrition. The ARS has the capabilities to provide regulation of, and evaluation and training for, employees exposed to biological, chemical, radiological, and industrial hazards. In emergency situations, the ARS can identify, control, and abate pollution in the areas of air, soil, wastes, pesticides, radiation, and toxic substances for ARS facilities.
(iii) The Soil Conservation Service (SCS) has personnel in nearly every county in the nation who are knowledgeable in soil, agronomy, engineering, and biology. These personnel can help to predict the effects of pollutants on soil and their movements over and through soils. Technical specialists can assist in identifying potential hazardous waste sites and provide review and advice on plans for remedial measures.
(iv) The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) can respond in an emergency to regulate movement of diseased or infected organisms to prevent the spread and contamination of nonaffected areas.
(v) The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has responsibility to prevent meat and poultry products contaminated with harmful substances from entering human food channels. In emergencies, the FSIS works with other federal and state agencies to establish acceptability for slaughter of exposed or potentially exposed animals and their products. In addition they are charged with managing the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Program for the USDA.
(7) DOC, through NOAA, provides scientific support for response and contingency planning in coastal and marine areas, including assessments of the hazards that may be involved, predictions of movement and dispersion of oil and hazardous substances through trajectory modeling, and information on the sensitivity of coastal environments to oil and hazardous substances and associated clean-up and mitigation methods; provides expertise on living marine resources and their habitats, including endangered species, marine mammals and National Marine Sanctuary ecosystems; provides information on actual and predicted meteorological, hydrological, ice, and oceanographic conditions for marine, coastal, and inland waters, and tide and circulation data for coastal and territorial waters and for the Great Lakes.
(8) HHS assists with the assessment, preservation, and protection of human health and helps ensure the availability of essential human services. HHS provides technical and nontechnical assistance in the form of advice, guidance, and resources to other federal agencies as well as state and local governments.
(i) The principal HHS response comes from the U.S. Public Health Service and is coordinated from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, and various Public Health Service regional offices. Within the Public Health Service, the primary response to a hazardous materials emergency comes from Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Both ATSDR and CDC have a 24-hour emergency response capability wherein scientific and technical personnel are available to provide technical assistance to the lead federal agency and state and local response agencies on human health threat assessment and analysis, and exposure prevention and mitigation. Such assistance is used for situations requiring evacuation of affected areas, human exposure to hazardous materials, and technical advice on mitigation and prevention. CDC takes the lead during petroleum releases regulated under the CWA and OPA while ATSDR takes the lead during chemical releases under CERCLA. Both agencies are mutually supportive.
(ii) Other Public Health Service agencies involved in support during hazardous materials incidents either directly or through ATSDR/CDC include the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institutes of Health.
(iii) Statutory authority for HHS/National Institutes for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) involvement in hazardous materials accident prevention is non-regulatory in nature and focused on two primary areas for preventing community and worker exposure to hazardous materials releases: Worker safety training and basic research activities. Under section 126 of SARA, NIEHS is given statutory authority for supporting development of curricula and model training programs for waste workers and chemical emergency responders.
Under section 118(b) of the Hazardous Materials Transportation and Uniform Safety Act (HMTUSA) (49 U.S.C. 1802 et seq.), NIEHS also administers the Hazmat Employee Training Program to prepare curricula and training for hazardous materials transportation workers. In the basic research arena, NIEHS is authorized under section 311 of SARA to conduct a hazardous substance basic research and training program to evaluate toxic effects and assess human health risks from accidental releases of hazardous materials. Under Title IX, section 901(h) of the Clean Air Act Amendments, NIEHS also is authorized to conduct basic research on air pollutants, as well as train physicians in environmental health. Federal research and training in hazardous materials release prevention represents an important non-regulatory activity and supplements ongoing private sector programs.
(9) DOI may be contacted through Regional Environmental Officers (REOs), who are the designated members of RRTs. Department land managers have jurisdiction over the national park system, national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, the public lands, and certain water projects in western states. In addition, bureaus and offices have relevant expertise as follows:
(i) United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other Bureaus: Anadromous and certain other fishes and wildlife, including endangered and threatened species, migratory birds, and certain marine mammals; waters and wetlands; and effects on natural resources.
(ii) The National Biological Survey performs research in support of biological resource management; inventories, monitors, and reports on the status and trends in the Nation's biotic resources; and transfers the information gained in research and monitoring to resource managers and others concerned with the care, use, and conservation of the Nation's natural resources. The National Biological Survey has laboratory/research facilities.
(iii) Geological Survey: Geology, hydrology (ground water and surface water), and natural hazards.
(iv) Bureau of Land Management: Minerals, soils, vegetation, wildlife, habitat, archaeology, and wilderness; and hazardous materials.
(v) Minerals Management Service: Oversight of offshore oil and gas exploration and production facilities and associated pipelines and pipeline facilities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the CWA; oil spill response technology research; and establishing oil discharge contingency planning requirements for offshore facilities.
(vi) Bureau of Mines: Analysis and identification of inorganic hazardous substances and technical expertise in metals and metallurgy relevant to site cleanup.
(vii) Office of Surface Mining: Coal mine wastes and land reclamation.
(viii) National Park Service: General biological, natural, and cultural resource managers to evaluate, measure, monitor, and contain threats to park system lands and resources; archaeological and historical expertise in protection, preservation, evaluation, impact mitigation, and restoration of cultural resources; emergency personnel.
(ix) Bureau of Reclamation: Operation and maintenance of water projects in the West; engineering and hydrology; and reservoirs.
(x) Bureau of Indian Affairs: Coordination of activities affecting Indian lands; assistance in identifying Indian tribal government officials.
(xi) Office of Territorial Affairs: Assistance in implementing the NCP in American Samoa, Guam, the Pacific Island Governments, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
(10) The Department of Justice (DOJ) can provide expert advice on complicated legal questions arising from discharges or releases, and federal agency responses. In addition, the DOJ represents the federal government, including its agencies, in litigation relating to such discharges or releases. Other legal issues or questions shall be directed to the federal agency counsel for the agency providing the OSC/RPM for the response.
(11) The Department of Labor (DOL), through OSHA and the states operating plans approved under section 18 of the OSH Act, has authority to conduct safety and health inspections of hazardous waste sites to assure that employees are being protected and to determine if the site is in compliance with:
(i) Safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA (or the states) in accordance with section 126 of SARA and all other applicable standards; and
(ii) Regulations promulgated under the OSH Act and its general duty clause. OSHA inspections may be self-generated, consistent with its program operations and objectives, or may be conducted in response to requests from EPA or another lead agency, or in response to accidents or employee complaints. OSHA may also conduct inspections at hazardous waste sites in those states with approved plans that choose not to exercise their jurisdiction to inspect such sites. On request, OSHA will provide advice and consultation to EPA and other NRT/RRT agencies as well as to the OSC/RPM regarding hazards to persons engaged in response activities. OSHA may also take any other action necessary to assure that employees are properly protected at such response activities. Any questions about occupational safety and health at these sites may be referred to the OSHA Regional Office.
(12) DOT provides response expertise pertaining to transportation of oil or hazardous substances by all modes of transportation. Through the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), DOT offers expertise in the requirements for packaging, handling, and transporting regulated hazardous materials. DOT, through RSPA, establishes oil discharge contingency planning requirements for pipelines, transport by rail and containers or bulk transport of oil.
(13) The Department of State (DOS) will lead in the development of international joint contingency plans. It will also help to coordinate an international response when discharges or releases cross international boundaries or involve foreign flag vessels. Additionally, DOS will coordinate requests for assistance from foreign governments and U.S. proposals for conducting research at incidents that occur in waters of other countries.
(14) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will respond, as appropriate, to releases of radioactive materials by its licensees, in accordance with the NRC Incident Response Plan (NUREG–0728) to monitor the actions of those licensees and assure that the public health and environment are protected and adequate recovery operations are instituted. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will keep EPA informed of any significant actual or potential releases in accordance with procedural agreements. In addition, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will provide advice to the OSC/RPM when assistance is required in identifying the source and character of other hazardous substance releases where the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has licensing authority for activities utilizing radioactive materials.
(15) The General Services Administration (GSA) provides logistic and telecommunications support to federal agencies. During an emergency situation, GSA quickly responds to aid state and local governments as directed by other federal agencies. The type of support provided might include leasing and furnishing office space, setting up telecommunications and transportation services, and advisory assistance.
(a) Each state governor is requested to designate one state office/representative to represent the state on the appropriate RRT. The state's office/representative may participate fully in all activities of the appropriate RRT. Each state governor is also requested to designate a lead state agency that will direct state-lead response operations. This agency is responsible for designating the lead state response official for federal and/or state-lead response actions, and coordinating/communicating with any other state agencies, as appropriate. Local governments are invited to participate in activities on the appropriate RRT as may be provided by state law or arranged by the state's representative. Indian tribes wishing to participate should assign one person or office to represent the tribal government on the appropriate RRT.
(b) Appropriate local and state officials (including Indian tribes) will participate as part of the response structure as provided in the ACP.
(c) In addition to meeting the requirements for local emergency plans under SARA section 303, state and local government agencies are encouraged to include contingency planning for responses, consistent with the NCP, RCP, and ACP in all emergency and disaster planning.
(d) For facilities not addressed under CERCLA or the CWA, states are encouraged to undertake response actions themselves or to use their authorities to compel potentially responsible parties to undertake response actions.
(e) States are encouraged to enter into cooperative agreements pursuant to sections 104 (c)(3) and (d) of CERCLA to enable them to undertake actions authorized under subpart E of the NCP. Requirements for entering into these agreements are included in subpart F of the NCP. A state agency that acts pursuant to such agreements is referred to as the lead agency. In the event there is no cooperative agreement, the lead agency can be designated in a SMOA or other agreement.
(f) Because state and local public safety organizations would normally be the first government representatives at the scene of a discharge or release, they are expected to initiate public safety measures that are necessary to protect public health and welfare and that are consistent with containment and cleanup requirements in the NCP, and are responsible for directing evacuations pursuant to existing state or local procedures.
(a) Industry groups, academic organizations, and others are encouraged to commit resources for response operations. Specific commitments should be listed in the RCP and ACP. Those entities required to develop tank vessel and facility response plans under CWA section 311(j) must be able to respond to a worst case discharge to the maximum extent practicable, and shall commit sufficient resources to implement other aspects of those plans in accordance with the requirements of 30 CFR part 254, 33 CFR parts 150, 154, and 155; 40 CFR part 112; and 49 CFR parts 171 and 194.
(b) The technical and scientific information generated by the local community, along with information from federal, state, and local governments, should be used to assist the OSC/RPM in devising response strategies where effective standard techniques are unavailable. Such information and strategies will be incorporated into the ACP, as appropriate. The SSC may act as liaison between the OSC/RPM and such interested organizations.
(c) ACPs shall establish procedures to allow for well organized, worthwhile, and safe use of volunteers, including compliance with § 300.150 regarding worker health and safety. ACPs should provide for the direction of volunteers by the OSC/RPM or by other federal, state, or local officials knowledgeable in contingency operations and capable of providing leadership. ACPs also should identify specific areas in which volunteers can be used, such as beach surveillance, logistical support, and bird and wildlife treatment. Unless specifically requested by the OSC/RPM, volunteers generally should not be used for physical removal or remedial activities. If, in the judgment of the OSC/RPM, dangerous conditions exist, volunteers shall be restricted from on-scene operations.
(d) Nongovernmental participation must be in compliance with the requirements of subpart H of this part if any recovery of costs will be sought.