2.3 State Response

The Governor of each State in Region 5 is requested to designate a lead agency that will direct State-led response operations. This agency is responsible for leading State response actions and coordinating/communicating with any other State agencies as appropriate (NCP 300.180). Each Governor will also designate a representative for the State on the RRT5. Each State representative may participate fully in all activities of the RRT5. The State RRT5 representatives are expected to coordinate with the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) or State Emergency Response Board (SERB) in their States in order to communicate and coordinate preparedness and pre-response planning activities between the State and the RRT5. State and local government agencies are encouraged to coordinate with:

  • State contingency planning efforts for response to oil and hazardous material events
  • this plan
  • requirements of SARA Title III

Section 311(j)(4) of CWA calls for inclusion of local, Tribal, and State representatives on the Area Committee. In US EPA Region 5, this has been partially accomplished through the designation of the RRT5 as the Area Committee.

Each State in Region 5 has a State disaster plan and laws that specify that State’s authority and organization for a technical response to environmental emergencies. All States can provide technical expertise to assess environmental and public health threats and damage, as well as to advise local responders. In specific circumstances, States may provide additional response capabilities in the form of contractors and funding.

The following are summaries of emergency preparedness measures for lead agencies in each of the States in Region 5.

2.3.1 Illinois

The Illinois 24-hour spill notification number is to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), 217-782-7860 (800-782-7860 in Illinois). The phone number during office hours is 217-782-7860. After office hours, call IEMA to speak with the Duty Officer. Illinois EPA Responsibilities

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) provides the designated RRT5 member for Illinois. To prevent and abate environmental pollution, IEPA has various responsibilities for responding to environmental emergencies within the State or its adjoining waters. IEPA is the State’s lead agency for developing plans and coordinating action before, during, and after certain emergency situations, including:

  • emergencies involving waste management
  • emergencies involving public water supplies
  • spills of oil or hazardous materials upon waters or lands of the State
  • releases of harmful quantities of toxic substances to the atmosphere

Within IEPA, the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Office of Chemical Safety is responsible for coordinating the agency’s response and ensuring appropriate cleanup of any subsequent environmental contamination. ERU collects information about environmental emergencies and responds directly and/or notifies other divisions within IEPA of needed action. Technical expertise is provided to first responders and public officials, addressing such issues as:

  • physical, chemical, and toxicological characteristics of the materials involved
  • effective response and treatment actions
  • precautions to be taken to prevent further injury or damage to public health or the environment Other Agencies—Illinois

Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): Serves as coordination and communications center for Illinois State agencies and is in overall command of emergency government efforts during major multijurisdictional disaster responses. IEMA is also the SERC, designated pursuant to SARA Title III.

IEMA Division of Nuclear Safety : Responds to incidents involving radioactivity, whether in transport or at nuclear power plants or other facilities.

IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals : Carries out initial investigation of incidents involving crude oil and natural gas production sites, unless waters of the state are being impacted (in which case the role is assumed by IEPA).

Illinois State Fire Marshall : Responds to incidents involving underground storage tanks (USTs); this responsibility is shared with IEPA. Has the authority to require equipment inspection and testing.

Illinois Commerce Commission: Investigates incidents involving railroad transport, has authority over the use, movement, and compliance of railroad equipment with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.

Illinois State Police: Responds to transportation incidents involving DOT Hazardous Materials, responsible for enforcement of DOT shipping regulations, traffic control, and security.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources: Responsible for assessment of natural resource damage in incidents involving serious environmental injury, such as fish kills and oiled waterfowl.

Other agencies serve a secondary role and provide technical support and resources as needed. However, they do not generally maintain an emergency response capability for on-scene response. These agencies include the Departments of Agriculture, Public Health, and Energy and Natural Resources; the Office of the Attorney General; and other human service agencies that might be involved with evacuees, should a prolonged incident occur requiring relocation of the general public.

2.3.2 Indiana

Spills can be reported to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) 24 hours a day at 888-233-7745. Indiana DEM Responsibilities

Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) provides the designated member of the RRT5 for Indiana and is the lead agency for the State in addressing spills, providing a 24-hour response capability. IDEM must provide technical assistance to the responsible party and the responding personnel and ensure compliance with Indiana spill regulations and other pertinent State and Federal rules and regulations.

Technical assistance can take the following forms:

  • chemical identification, handling, and hazard information
  • evaluation of the threat to environmental and public safety
  • personal protection recommendations
  • containment and cleanup methods
  • resource identification and location

For large spills, or where the spiller fails to respond adequately, IDEM staff responds onsite to assist in the response effort, assuming the role of State OSC if necessary.

During a response, staff of the Emergency Response Section (ERS) of IDEM assume the role of technical advisers and provide on-scene assistance to the responsible party, and to individuals or agencies involved in the response. On occasion, ERS staff have assumed a role that would appropriately be called OSC. However, if a structure (e.g., ICS) that exists within a local or County jurisdiction provides an OSC and that OSC is being utilized, ERS staff will provide assistance to that OSC.

Once the immediate threat to public health and the environment has been dealt with, the incident is further stabilized and cleaned up under ERS supervision. Rule 327 IAC 26.1, Spills: Reporting, Containment, and Response, requires that the spiller report to IDEM and perform a spill response. A spill response means that a spill is contained and free material is removed or neutralized. Disposal of recovered material that is classified as waste is referred by ERS staff to appropriate personnel in the Office of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management. ERS staff may then conduct a follow-up investigation to ensure that material has been disposed of properly and the cleanup is acceptable. Other Agencies—Indiana

The role of liaison between a spiller and the different program areas of IDEM is perhaps the greatest benefit that ERS can provide to those involved in a spill. This role can also extend to other State agencies and other response organizations. State agencies:

Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS): IDHS is the lead planning agency for coordinating man-made and natural disasters. IDHS also provides an alternate member for the RRT5.

Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM): OSFM responds to fire and explosion hazards from hazardous materials incidents.

Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC): OISC provides technical guidance regarding agricultural chemical incidents including fertilizers and pesticides. It also conducts investigations of improper application of regulated agricultural chemicals.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR): DNR Conservation Officers conduct investigations to assess damages to natural resources, such as fish kills.

DNR, Oil and Gas Division (O & G): DNR O & G regulates oil production facilities, including operation, maintenance, construction and abandonment of oil wells and associated equipment.

Indiana State Police (ISP): ISP investigates transportation incidents involving DOT hazardous materials, enforces DOT shipping regulations, and provides traffic control and site security.

Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH): ISDH is the lead agency for releases of radiological and etiological materials. It also provides technical guidance to IDEM regarding health issues and advisories.

Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT): INDOT usually provides traffic control for major transportation incidents involving releases of petroleum and hazardous materials. ERS also coordinates with other program areas within IDEM, as well as local response agencies such as fire departments, hazardous materials teams, sheriffs’ departments, local emergency planning committees (LEPCs), emergency management agencies, county health departments, and county highway departments.

2.3.3 Michigan

Spill emergencies can be reported to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Pollution Emergency Alerting System. 24-hour in-state number: 800-292-4706. Alternate/out-of-state number: 517-373-7660 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Responsibilities

Michigan’s representation on RRT5 comes from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) . MDEQ is the primary environmental emergency response agency in the State in all non-agricultural-related spills. Recent legislation has designated the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) as the primary response organization, in close association with MDEQ, in spills involving agricultural chemicals.

Staff of MDEQ can be notified of oil and hazardous materials incidents via the Pollution Emergency Alert System (PEAS) at (800) 292-4706 (in-state) or (517) 373-7660.

MDEQ has approximately 19 full-time equivalent field positions available to respond to complaints and environmental emergencies. Most of these positions are located in the nine Field Operations Districts operated by MDEQ, which are situated throughout the State. The primary response role of MDEQ is one of technical advisor. These personnel are responsible for complaint investigation and emergency spill response and generally oversee the environmental aspects of spill containment, control, and mitigation. Appropriately trained staff within MDEQ can provide hands-on response with absorbents and skirt boom if the situation requires this type of response. It is anticipated, however, that all "first responder" response will be conducted by local units of government and the various Hazardous Material Response Teams located throughout the State, although predominantly in the lower third of the peninsula.

Environmental mitigation associated with material spills will generally be conducted by the RP. If the RP cannot be identified or is reluctant to adequately address mitigation needs, the State can hire contractors to perform the mitigation. A limited amount of money is available through funds administered by the MDEQ Environmental Response Division. The State can also access the Federal fund administered under ERT in accordance with Federal guidelines and regulations.

Michigan has a responder immunity act.

MDEQ, in conjunction with the Department of Attorney General, is the designated Natural Resources Trustee for the State. Other Agencies—Michigan

Michigan State Police (MSP): The MSP Emergency Management Division (EMD) serves as the designated emergency/disaster response coordination agency for the State and as the primary State contact point in the event of a declared disaster resulting in the activation of the State Emergency Management Plan.

Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA): MDA is the lead agency in spill responses involving agricultural chemicals and/or fertilizers.

Michigan Emergency Response Commission (MERC): MERC is the primary coordination agency and liaison with the local Emergency Planning Commissions throughout the state. MERC is co-chaired by MSP-EMD and MDEQ.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR): MDNR is the lead agency for the State in decisions involving fish and wildlife issues during a spill response working cooperatively with the MDEQ State OSC.

2.3.4 Minnesota

Spills can be reported to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) 24 hours a day at 800-422-0798. Alternate contact number during business hours: 651-296-6300. Spills can also be reported to the Minnesota Duty Officer at 651-649-5451. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Responsibilities

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provides the designated member of RRT5 for Minnesota. MPCA is the primary State responder to spills and other emergencies involving hazardous materials (with the exception of incidents involving pesticides and fertilizers, which are under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture). All of the following information describing State emergency response therefore assumes MPCA actions for general hazardous materials incidents, but applies to the Department of Agriculture for all pesticide and fertilizer incidents. The State Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has 11 local hazardous materials teams under state contract to provide for chemical assessment and mitigation when requested by a local incident commander.

MPCA’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) includes 12 full-time ERT members whose primary duty is to monitor the cleanup of spills and other emergency situations that pollute or threaten to pollute surface or ground water. By default, they also respond to reports of other environmental emergencies (e.g., air releases, illegal hazardous waste disposal, tire dump fires). In addition to receiving release reports, the ERT may perform field inspections at spill sites, provide technical assistance to responsible parties, or carry out enforcement actions for violation of State laws and rules.

If necessary, ERT staff will proceed to the site to provide coordination and assistance in handling the emergency. This may include taking charge of the response if the responsible party is unknown or unavailable. In situations where public safety is the primary consideration, the ERT member does not take charge of the incident, but assists the fire chief or other public safety officials at the scene. This assistance may include emergency waiver or suspension of State laws and rules (e.g., allowing emergency wastewater discharges or burning of a spilled product in order to minimize overall environmental damage). The assistance may also include activation of contractors using State funds.

Minnesota Statute Chapter 115E requires companies handling oil and hazardous substances to act to prevent releases and to be prepared for releases they may have. Chapter 115E requirements are similar to OPA but cover protection of the public’s safety and the environment, and pollution of the land, air, and waters of the State. A facility operator is to notify the Department of Public Safety when their plan is completed, and must supply a copy upon request. ERT staff actively inspect the prevention capabilities and preparedness of major facilities and will assist facility owners if requested. They conduct enforcement if the preparedness of a facility is found to be inadequate, especially if it contributed to a release or poor response.

Both Minnesota Statute Chapter 115E and State Superfund Chapter 115B contain language providing immunity to those responding to oil or hazardous substance discharges. Other Agencies—Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Public Safety: Operates the 24-hour-per-day Duty Officer System to take incident reports for all State agencies.

Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM):: HSEM coordinates the actions of State agencies, including MPCA, Natural Resources, Transportation, Public Safety, and Health. HSEM conducts training for State and local responders, and reviews county emergency plans. HSEM conducts the Right-to-Know programs in the State.

2.3.5 Ohio

Spills in Ohio can be reported to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency at 800-282-9378. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Responsibilities

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) is the designated representative of RRT5 for Ohio. OEPA is also the State agency charged with investigating releases of oil and hazardous substances from both fixed and mobile facilities. Ohio’s spill response program is housed in the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), which is a part of the Division of Emergency and Remedial Response. This unit, which is responsible for receiving reports of releases to all environmental media, uses 15 spill responders to aid in chemical identification, containment, cleanup, public safety, and the identification of responsible parties. If a responsible party cannot be identified or is recalcitrant, the ERU can activate a level-of-effort contractor to initiate actions to contain or clean up the spill. Spills can be reported 24-hours-a-day at 800-282-9378. Ohio has enacted no laws specifically related to responder immunity in environmental emergencies but it has enacted both a Good Samaritan Statute and a "General Duty Clause" that applies to State employees. Other Agencies—Ohio

Several different State agencies have areas of expertise to contribute during a spill, and in the case of such an event, operate under a cooperative agreement that outlines the activities of the signatory agencies when a spill occurs. These agencies are:

2.3.6 Wisconsin

Spills can be reported to the Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-800-943-0003. Emergency Response to Oil Spills and Hazardous Materials Incidents

The primary agency representative to the RRT5 for Wisconsin is theWisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) with alternate representation from Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) . WDNR is responsible for developing and updating a State Contingency Plan addressing spill response. The agency is responsible for

  • Receiving notifications of releases
  • Identifying the responsible party
  • Ensuring that appropriate measures are being taken by the responsible party to address public safety
  • Containment, clean up, and remediation a release. When a responsible party is unknown, or unable or unwilling to take appropriate actions, a WDNR representative may activate a Zone Contractor to take necessary actions.

administers the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) in the State, and also administers eight Level A Regional Hazardous Materials Response Teams. This agency also coordinates resources for overall emergency management and provides hazardous materials training classes for all levels of responders. WEM operates a 24-hour emergency hotline that has a voice prompt directing spill calls to WDNR. WEM also serves as the lead State agency for consequence management of terrorism events. Other Agencies – Wisconsin

Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS): DHFS is responsible for monitoring the effects of chemical spills on public health and for providing assistance to local public health authorities.

Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP): DATCP responds to spills of agrichemicals and coordinates with WDNR on remediation issues.

Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP): WSP enforces State hazardous materials transportation regulations and can be involved in the initial response to transportation-related spills.