4.1 Resource Protection

Mitigation and cleanup of spills requires knowledge of resources at risk. Because many source locations and pollution paths are possible, strict prioritization of protection strategies is difficult. However, identification of resources potentially at risk before an incident and discussion of their relative importance by the appropriate trustees are useful processes, both technically and from communications and human standpoints.

4.1.1 Environmentally and Economically Sensitive Areas

Environmentally and Economically Sensitive Areas are identified in the Inland Sensitivity Atlas series, a set of Geographic Information System (GIS) products intended to provide contingency planners and spill responders in Region 5 with the most accurate and relevant information possible for spill preparedness and response. The atlas series includes data about sensitive environmental, economic, and cultural resources; potential spill sources; and response resources within US EPA Region 5, including portions of the basins of the Upper Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Great Lakes. GIS products from this joint effort are made available as paper atlases and in digital format, including an online Inland Sensitivity Atlas viewer and publications on CD-ROM.

Information mapped includes:

  • species data including Federal and State threatened and endangered species
  • Federal, State, Regional, and privately-owned and managed natural resource areas
  • Tribal Lands
  • Federal, State, Regional, and private designations of natural resource areas (no ownership)
  • drinking water intakes
  • industrial water intakes
  • locks and dams
  • marinas and boat accesses
  • oil storage above 42,000 gallons and oil pipelines
  • Federal, State and Tribal Trustees

Types of environmentally and economically sensitive areas are detailed below, including agencies and programs that can be contacted for further information. Owners/operators should also incorporate information on locally managed environmentally and economically sensitive areas into their FRPs.

Identification of culturally sensitive sites in the vicinity of a spill can be accomplished by contacting the appropriate State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). This individual is generally associated with the State Historical Preservation Office or Society, which may or may not be within a department of State government. Contacts for individual States are provided in the table below.

State SHPO Contact SHPO Website
 Illinois Amy Martin
(217) 785-7930
Indiana Cameron F. Clark
(317) 232-1646
Michigan Brian D. Conway
(517) 373-1630,4641,7-141-54317---,00.html
Minnesota Barbara Mitchell Howard
(651) 259-3466
State Historic Preservation Office
Phone: (651) 259-3450
Ohio Burt Logan
(614) 298-2000
Wisconsin Chip Brown
(608) 264-6508

The National Parks Service (NPS) has responsibility for sites located on Federal lands within the Region. NPS maintains a registry of historically and culturally significant resources, the National Register of Historic Places, which can be accessed via the National Register Information System at

Specific procedures and Federal OSC responsibilities regarding these sites are set forth in the Programmatic Agreement on Protection of Historic Properties During Emergency Response. Further information about the NPS History and Culture program can be found at

USFWS Field Response Coordinators are the primary Federal contact for information about migratory birds, endangered and threatened species, and fish and wildlife at risk as a result of spills in the inland and coastal zones. See Appendix VII, Fish and Wildlife Annex for further information.

Each State has fisheries and wildlife biologists, who may be assigned to a Department of Natural Resources or other State agency. These personnel are assigned to geographic areas within a State (district or region) and are listed in Appendix VII. They can also be identified through State emergency response agencies or USFWS Pollution Response Coordinators.

The Inland Sensitivity Atlas includes inventories developed by each State’s Natural Heritage or Natural Features Inventory.

The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) can be a source of technical assistance in understanding Native American fish and wildlife management and cultural values. Another source of valuable information is the National Animal Poison Control Center.

Sea Grant Universities and Extension Agents may be a source of local knowledge outside the public sector. These agents have contact with local scientists, fishermen, environmental groups, and other sources that may supplement information provided by regulatory agencies. They can be contacted through the NOAA SSC.

Updated information on protected habitat and economically and environmentally sensitive environments is provided in this plan in three separate indices, one for each of the three drainage basins in Region 5: the Great Lakes basin, the Mississippi River basin, and the Ohio River basin. Each index contains detailed information, in digital format, regarding the environmentally and economically sensitive areas, and Tribal interests.

Descriptive information, maps, and emergency contact lists are also included. The text in the indices provides further instructions on accessing the data available on the disks.

A variety of protected areas such as forests, parks, preserves, reserves, and management areas are managed by public or private organizations such as The Nature Conservancy/Heritage Foundation. Additional sources of this information include Federal or State land management agencies, which include the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce at the Federal level and their counterparts at the State and local levels.