1.3 Scope and Provisions

It is the policy of the RRT that response actions on non-Federal lands should be monitored or implemented by the most immediate level of government with authority and capability to conduct such activities. The first level of response will generally be the responsible party (RP), followed by local government agencies, followed by State agencies when local capabilities are exceeded. When incident response is beyond the capability of the State response, US EPA or USCG is authorized to take response measures deemed necessary to protect the public health or welfare or the environment from discharges of oil or releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. The need for Federal response is based on evaluation by the Federal OSC.

The US EPA Region 5 RCP/ACP has been developed in accordance with the NCP and takes into consideration relevant USCG area contingency plans. The Ninth Coast Guard District is covered by five area contingency plans, which cover portions of Region 5. Each plan covers the coastal zone of the corresponding sector or Marine Safety Unit. Each USCG area contingency plan is developed by an area committee chaired by the respective Coast Guard Captain-of-the-Port.

USCG has five ACPs that cover, in part, how to respond to an oil or hazardous substance spill in the coastal zone of the Great Lakes and their connecting channels. This includes the identification, prioritization and cleanup strategies for sensitive areas; and identification of contractors and equipment. While US EPA has chosen to combine its Area Contingency Plan for Region 5 into the existing Regional Contingency Plan to produce this joint document, the USCG’s five area contingency plans are separate documents, which are compatible with and may be used in conjunction with this ICP for spills that impact both the inland and coastal zones. The ACP referred to in this Plan is the US EPA Inland Plan unless otherwise stated. This plan applies to the Region 5 RRT (RRT5) member agencies (see Appendix I).

The RCP/ACP, when implemented in conjunction with other provisions of the NCP, shall be adequate to remove a worst case discharge and to mitigate or prevent a substantial threat of such a discharge.

The RCP portion of this plan covers response for all of Region 5, but the ACP portion of this plan only covers the inland portion. When reading the plan, if the jurisdiction falls in the coastal zone, the spill will fall under the responsibility of the Coast Guard and will only be subject to the RCP components of this plan. If a jurisdiction is in the inland zone, both ACP and RCP components of this plan apply.

Certain groups of counties have been designated as sub areas of the RCP/ACP and will be appended to the plan. They are chosen based on specific criteria for threat:

  • proximity to large bodies of water
  • number of facilities
  • need for greater jurisdictional coordination

They may also contain portions of other adjacent areas to provide for a coordinated plan for spills affecting certain boundary locations.