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Oil Spill Response Support

Oil Spill Response Support

If there is an ongoing oil spill from an offshore facility regulated by BSEE, please visit the Newsroom for the latest information.

BSEE Support to the Federal on Scene Coordinator (FOSC) During a Potential or Actual Oil Discharge from an Offshore Facility

BSEE, executing its authorities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), will assist the Federal On Scene Coordinator (FOSC) by overseeing and, when necessary, directing measures to abate sources of pollution from regulated offshore facilities to ensure minimal release of oil and to prevent unwarranted shutdown of unaffected production and pipeline systems. 

To ensure abatement activities are effectively coordinated with all other response activities directed by a FOSC, BSEE will provide a Source Control Support Coordinator (SCSC) to the Unified Command. The SCSC, in accordance with the duties outlined in the USCG Incident Management Handbook (IMH), will serve as the principal advisor to the FOSC for all source control/abatement activities involving an offshore facility.  Additional details about the duties of the SCSC and other key source control-related positions can be found in the following Incident Command System (ICS) Job Aids:


While technically not considered a source control position, due to the level of integration that must occur between source control and subsea dispersant operations, the following ICS Job Aid for subsea dispersant operations was also developed:

Subsea Dispersant Group Supervisor (SDGS) ICS Job Aid

BSEE, upon request from the FOSC or as dictated by exigencies of the type of discharge, may provide additional engineering, technical, and scientific expertise from the BSEE Regional and/or District Offices to assist the FOSC. Such assistance may include the identification of entities responsible for pollution using BSEE regional databases and mapping programs or conducting overflights to assess damage to offshore facilities. BSEE may also provide staff from the Oil Spill Preparedness Division (OSPD) with technical expertise in spill removal equipment and offshore spill response planning to assist the OSC within the Planning or Response Sections at the Unified Command.

BSEE conducts these response actions in accordance with 40 CFR § 300.170 of the National Contingency Plan, which outlines how federal agencies may use their existing authorities and capabilities during a response to provide assistance to the FOSC. Additional detailed information about how BSEE will coordinate support to the FOSC and the U.S. Coast Guard during a response is detailed in in a Memorandum of Agreement between both organizations called the BSEE/USCG MOA: OCS-03: Oil Discharge Planning, Preparedness, and Response.