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Under FRP, what is the definition of a qualified individual?

The FRP regulations require facilities to prepare an emergency response action plan and identify a qualified individual that has full authority, including contracting authority, to implement removal actions (40 CFR §112.20(h)(i)).  What is the definition of a qualified individual?

The relevant statute, CWA 311(j)(5)(C)(ii) requires that the plan identify the qualified individual (QI) having full authority to implement removal actions, and require immediate communications between that individual and the appropriate federal official and the persons providing personnel and equipment pursuant to clause (iii) [Oil Spill Removal Organizations or first responders].

The FRP regulations at Part 112.20(h)(3)(ix) define the duties of a QI as follows:

  • activate internal alarms and hazard communication systems;
  • notify needed response personnel;
  • identify the character, exact source, amount, and extent of the release and items needed for notification;
  • notify and provide necessary information to the appropriate federal, state, and local authorities with designated response roles;
  • assess the interaction of the discharged substance with water and/or other substances stored at the facility and notify response personnel at the scene of that assessment;
  • assess the possible hazards to human health and the environment due to the release;
  • assess and implement prompt removal actions to contain and remove the substance released;
  • coordinate rescue and response actions as previously arranged with all response personnel;
  • use authority to immediately access company funding to initiate cleanup activities; and
  • direct cleanup activities until properly relieved of this responsibility.