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United States - Canada Border Program

The EPA Office of Emergency Management (OEM) administers programs jointly with Canada to prepare for and prevent environmental emergencies along the northern border of the United States.

Group Description

International Joint Advisory Team (IJAT)

OEM's Director serves as the EPA chair of the U.S. National Response Team, and OEM's Deputy Director serves as the U.S. Co-chair for the International Joint Advisory Team. The IJAT is a policy and advisory body with overall responsibility for the maintenance, promotion, and coordination of the United States-Canada Joint Inland Pollution Contingency Plan. It consists of representatives from all appropriate federal agencies in both countries that are responsible for environmental emergency prevention, preparedness, and response.

Regional Joint Response Team (RJRT) The EPA Regions head their geographically corresponding U.S. Regional Response Teams, which are required to supply a representative to each Regional Joint Response Team. The RJRTs are responsible for the development, maintenance, and effective implementation of the respective Regional Annexes to the United States-Canada Joint Inland Pollution Contingency Plan.

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Canada - United States Joint Contingency Plan

The Canada-United States Joint Inland Pollution Contingency Plan provides for an international coordination mechanism to ensure appropriate and effective cooperative preparedness, reporting, and response measures between Canada and the United States when an oil release or hazardous substances emergency occurs along the shared inland boundaries.

On October 28, 2009, EPA released an updated Canada-US Joint Inland Pollution Contingency Plan. This Plan describes how the US and Canada will work together to prepare for and respond to emergencies that cause or may cause damage to the environment or may threaten public safety, security, health, welfare or property along the inland boundary. The Plan ensures appropriate cooperative preparedness, notification, and response measures between Canada and the United States, coordinates the federal response to a significant polluting incident, and provides a mechanism for cooperative responses among all levels of government. It also facilitates assistance between the countries when the polluting incident is large but only affects one country.

This Inland Plan has been revised and updated to reflect the current laws and regulations of each country, supersedes the Canada-United States Joint Inland Pollution Contingency Plan signed on July 25, 1994, and complements the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan (the "Marine Plan"), which describes a joint response mechanism for any polluting incident that threatens the waters or coastal areas of both countries. Implementation of the Inland Plan is the joint responsibility of the Canadian Department of the Environment (Environment Canada) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The revisions were the result of a partnership effort between U.S. EPA and Environment Canada, and in consultation with the Departments of State and Homeland Security.

One feature of the Canada-U.S. Joint Inland Pollution Contingency Plan is the development of Regional Annexes that include, among other matters, the definition of the jurisdiction, roles, and response procedures of regulatory and support agencies within specific regions of each country. The Regional Annexes and the geographic areas they cover are listed below. The Regional Annexes will be posted as they are signed.

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