New Sea Grant Fact Sheet On Federal Laws and Policies that Govern Oil Spill Response

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant product that gives a concise overview of the Stafford Act (1988) and the Oil Pollution Act (1990) that govern oil spill response. Also explained are how the National Response Framework, the National Contingency Plan, and the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund fit into the picture.

Read the Federal emergency response framework for oil spills: Stafford Act and Oil Pollution Act and learn about the types of assistance that the Stafford Act authorizes and how the Oil Pollution Act strengthens the government’s ability to prevent oil spills, ensure that they are cleaned up, and restore affected natural resources.  Also learn how the National Response Framework assists with initial emergency response, how the National Contingency Plan addresses oil spills during coastal storms, and where money in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund comes from and when those funds can be used.

By Nilde Maggie Dannreuther. Contact with questions or comments.


The Sea Grant Oil Spill Outreach Team synthesizes peer-reviewed science for a broad range of general audiences, particularly those who live and work across the Gulf Coast. Sea Grant offers oil-spill related public seminars across the United States. 

Information about upcoming Sea Grant science seminars and recently-held events is available here. To receive email updates about seminars, publications, and the outreach team, click here.


GoMRI and the Sea Grant programs of the Gulf of Mexico (Florida, Mississippi-Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas) have partnered to create an oil spill science outreach program.

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (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

© Copyright 2010-2019 Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) – All Rights Reserved. Redistribution is encouraged with acknowledgement to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). Please credit images and/or videos as done in each article. Questions? Contact web-content editor Nilde “Maggie” Dannreuther, Northern Gulf Institute, Mississippi State University (