Emergency Response: Everything You Need To Know About Chemical & Oil Spills

Everything You Need To Know About Spills

Emergency - no time to read this? To report oil and hazardous chemical spills, call the National Response Center 1-800-424-8802

  • How the Regulations and Response System Work
  • Oil Spill Information
  • Chemical Spills
  • SPCC Plans (Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasures)
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG)
    The NPG is a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals/classes for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals. It presents key information and data in abbreviated or tabular form for chemicals or substance groupings (e.g. cyanides, fluorides, manganese compounds) that are found in the work environment.
    You can download a free stand-alone HTML version of the NPG compressed as a ZIP file. The ZIP file contains a condensed version of the NPG. All non-Pocket Guide links were removed so that this set of files acts as a "stand-alone" database. These files can be used with a standard web browser or on some mobile devices.
  • NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM)
    DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-113 (1994)
    NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO)
    IPCS cards summarize essential health and safety information on chemicals for their use at the "shop floor" level by workers and employers in factories, agriculture, construction and other work places.
  • Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH)
    IDLHs document the criteria and information sources that have been used to determine immediately dangerous to life or health concentrations of workers.
  • NIOSH Chemical Agent Information for Emergency Responders
    Includes NIOSH Emergency Response Cards, information on Cyanide, Sarin, Nitrogen Mustard, Sulfur Mustard, VX, other chemicals.
  • Other NIOSH Databases
    Additional data resources on Chemical Hazards, Agriculture, Construction, Respirators, more...


    There are four primary Federal statutes that require release reporting including CERCLA , the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 ( EPCRA ), the Hazardous Material Transportation Act of 1974 ( HMTA ), and the CWA (the Clean Water Act).

    In addition, because CERCLA defines hazardous substances to include CWA hazardous substances and toxic pollutants, the Clean Air Act ( CAA ) hazardous air pollutants, the RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) hazardous wastes, and the Toxic Substances Control Act ( TSCA ) imminently hazardous chemical substances, releases of these substances are also subject to CERCLA reporting requirements.

    Part or all of the information from these reports may be collected in ERNS. The four primary statutes and their resulting regulations, citations, and relationship to ERNS are shown below.

    Statute (Cite for Reporting Requirements)

    • CERCLA Section 103 (40 CFR Part 302.6, Part 300.405)

      Requires that the release of a CERCLA hazardous substance that meets or exceeds the reportable quantity (RQ) set forth in 40 CFR 302.4 must be reported to the NRC. These substances account for on average 19% of all the notifications in ERNS.

    • EPCRA Section 304 (40 CFR Part 355.40)

      Requires that the release of an RQ or more of an EPCRA extremely hazardous substance or a CERCLA hazardous substance (one pound or more if a reporting trigger is not established by regulation) that results in exposure of people outside the facility boundary be reported to State and local authorities.

    • HMTA Section 1808 (49 CFR Part 171.15)

      Requires that the release of a DOT hazardous material during transportation be reported to the NRC under certain circumstances such as death, injury, significant property damage, evacuation, highway closure, etc.

    • CWA Section 311 (40 CFR Part 110.10, Part 300.300)

      Requires that the release of oil be reported to the NRC if the release: (1) violates applicable water quality standards; (2) causes a film, sheen or discoloration of the water or adjoining shoreline; or (3) causes a sludge or an emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon the adjoining shorelines. Oil notifications account for on average 57% of all notifications in ERNS.

    Who Responds?

    It depends upon the type and place of the spill. Examples of Responding Agencies:

    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • United States Coast Guard (USCG)
    • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
    • State Emergency Response Commission (SERC)
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
    • Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)
  • Ways to save money AND help the environment:

    Eat healthier AND save money: Instant Pot Duo Crisp 11-in-1 Air Fryer and Electric Pressure Cooker Combo with Multicooker Lids that Fries, Steams, Slow Cooks, Sautés, Dehydrates

    Save water AND money with this showerhead adapter, it lets the water flow until the water is hot, then shuts off water flow until you restart it, ShowerStart TSV Hot Water Standby Adapter

    Protect your health with these:

    Mattress Dust mite-Bedbug protector, 100% Waterproof, Hypoallergenic, Zippered

    Handheld Allergen Vacuum Cleaner with UV Sanitizing and Heating for Allergies and Pet, Kills Mite, Virus, Molds, True HEPA with Powerful Suction removes Hair, Dander, Pollen, Dust,

    Immune Support Supplement with Quercetin, Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D3

    GermGuardian Air Purifier with UV-C Light and HEPA 13 Filter, Removes 99.97% of Pollutants

    5 Stage Air Purifier, Features Ultraviolet Light (UVC), H13 True Hepa, Carbon, PCO, Smart Wifi, Auto Mode, Quiet, Removes 99.97% of Particles, Smoke, Mold, Pet Dander, Dust, Odors

    Interesting Reads:

    THE PREPPER'S CANNING & PRESERVING BIBLE: [13 in 1] Your Path to Food Self-Sufficiency. Canning, Dehydrating, Fermenting, Pickling & More, Plus The Food Preservation Calendar for a Sustainable Pantry

    The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! Paperback

    The Citizens' Guide to Geologic Hazards: A Guide to Understanding Geologic Hazards Including Asbestos, Radon, Swelling Soils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes

    The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

    Book: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Paperback

    See Echo Dot on Amazon