EPA Seeks Input on National Oil & Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan

The Q4000 flares off gas at the site of drilling operations at the Deepwater Horizon Response site July 8, 2010. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Belson)

(Click to enlarge) The Q4000 flares off gas at the site of drilling operations at the Deepwater Horizon Response site July 8, 2010. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Belson)

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative encourages its science community to help shape federal disaster response and strengthen the Nation’s preparedness level and response to oil spills.

The Environmental Protection Agency requests input on proposed amendments to their National Contingency Plan and will accept public comments through April 22, 2015.

The proposal addresses issues raised by the public, responders, government, and industry officials during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. For details about the National Contingency Plan Subpart J, click here and about the proposed amendments to Subpart J, click here.

Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response said, “Our emergency officials need the best available science and safety information to make informed spill response decisions when evaluating the use of specific products on oil discharges. Our proposed amendments incorporate scientific advances and lessons learned from the application of spill-mitigating substances in response to oil discharges and will help ensure that the emergency planners and responders are well-equipped to protect human health and the environment.”

The proposed Subpart J revisions include:

  • New and revised product toxicity and efficacy test methodologies for dispersants, and other chemical and biological agents;
  • New toxicity and efficacy criteria for listing agents on the Subpart J Product Schedule;
  • Additional human health and safety information requirements from manufacturers;
  • Revised area planning requirements for chemical and biological agent use authorization; and
  • New dispersant monitoring requirements when used on certain oil discharges.

Additional information sources:

FAQs on the Proposed Amendments to Subpart J of the National Contingency Plan

Fact sheet: Proposed Changes to Subpart J of the National Contingency Plan

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The GoMRI is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/.

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