EPA Region 8 Area Contingency Plan (ACP)
Regional 8 Preparedness Unit Information
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The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) was enacted to reduce the frequency of major oil spills, improve the efficiency of spill response, expand preparedness activities, and to provide for better coordination of spill response and planning among local, state, and federal agencies and private groups. In order to improve the efficiency of spill response efforts, OPA mandates that EPA and the United States Coast Guard prepare Area Contingency Plans (ACPs) which address:
- the discharge or threats of discharge of oil into or upon navigable waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines or which may affect natural resources belonging to, appertaining to, or under the exclusive management authority of the United States;
- releases or substantial threats of release of hazardous substances into the environment; and
- releases or substantial threats of release of pollutants or contaminants that may present an imminent and substantial danger to public health or welfare.
EPA Region 8 has developed nine designated sub-Area Contingency Plans (sACPs) to fulfill the requirements of the ACP on a more localized basis. Each sACP contains critical information on the locations of environmentally sensitive areas and receptors; hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities; contact information for key personnel; and a list of valuable resources available locally to aid emergency responders.
In addition to providing a comprehensive document of resources, contacts, and sensitive areas; the ACP program provides Tabletop Exercises for local emergency responders. This allows responders to practice the necessary techniques required to approach and deal with an incident, while also allowing local responders to meet and learn the abilities of each agency within their geographic response area. Through the creation of ACPs and sACPs, EPA Region 8 provides emergency responders easy access to information that is required during an incident, saving time and resources that can then be focused on the situation at hand.