National Response System
The National Response System (NRS) routinely and effectively responds to a wide range of oil and hazardous substance releases. It is a multi-layered system of individuals and teams from local, state, and federal agencies, industry, and other organizations that share expertise and resources to ensure that oil spill control and cleanup activities are timely and efficient, and that they minimize threats to human health and the environment.
At the heart of the system is the National Contingency Plan (NCP), which ensures that the resources and expertise of the federal government are available immediately for oil or hazardous substance releases that are beyond the capabilities of local and state responders. The NCP provides the framework for the NRS and establishes how it works.
When releases are serious enough to be considered "Nationally Significant Incidents," the National Response Framework (NRF) is activated, and works in conjunction with the NRS and NCP. The NRF is the federal government's comprehensive, all-hazard approach to crisis management, and provides a mechanism for coordinating federal assistance to state governments and localities.