National Response Center

The National Response Center (NRC) is a part of the federally established National Response System and staffed 24 hours a day by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is the sole national point of contact for reporting all oil, chemical, radiological, biological and etiological discharges into the environment, anywhere in the United States and its territories. The NRC also takes maritime reports of suspicious activity and security breaches within the waters of the United States and its territories.

Reports to the NRC activate the National Contingency Plan and the federal government's response capabilities. It is the responsibility of the NRC staff to notify the pre-designated On-Scene Coordinator assigned to the area of the incident and to collect available information on the size and nature of the release, the facility or vessel involved, and the party(ies) responsible for the release. The NRC maintains reports of all releases and spills in a national database.

Additional information on EPA's response structure: