Oil Spill Preparedness
BSEE administers a robust Oil Spill Preparedness Program through its Oil Spill Preparedness Division (OSPD) to ensure owners and operators of offshore facilities are ready to mitigate substantial threats of and to respond to actual oil spills that may result from their activities. The Program draws its mandate and purpose from the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of October 18, 1972, as amended, and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (October 18, 1991). It is framed by the regulations in 30 CFR Part 254 – Oil Spill Response Requirements for Facilities Located Seaward of the Coastline, and 40 CFR Part 300 – National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. Acknowledging these authorities and their associated responsibilities, BSEE established the program with three primary and interdependent roles:
- Preparedness Verification,
- Oil Spill Response Research, and
- Management of Ohmsett - the National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility.
Through these roles, the Bureau performs numerous functions for improving the nation’s spill preparedness and response capabilities, including, comprehensive contingency planning, equipment testing and inspection, quality training, unannounced exercises, research and development (R&D) endeavors, and close engagement with the stakeholders of the National Response System (NRS). We invite you to explore the links to the three roles to learn more in-depth details about the Program.
During an offshore oil spill incident, BSEE also executes important responsibilities alongside its NRS partners to control the source of the spill and mitigate its effects. Explore the link Oil Spill Response Support for additional details and helpful resources on BSEE’s role within the Incident Command System during a spill.
If you are visiting this page to report an offshore incident or spill, visit our emergency contact procedures page.