California

Mission Statement

Logo: California Department of Fish & Game

The mission of the Office of Spill Prevention and Response is to provide best achievable protection of California’s state surface waters and natural resources by preventing, preparing for and responding to spills of oil and other deleterious materials, and through restoring and enhancing affected resources.

Oil Spill Program Overview

Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), a division of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, is the lead state agency for spill response in California. OSPR was established by the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1990 (Act). The Act provides the OSPR Administrator with authority to direct spill response and cleanup, as well as natural resource damage assessment and restoration.

Refugio Incident, Santa Barbara, 2015 (photo: Lara Cooper / Noozhawk)

Refugio Incident, Santa Barbara, 2015 (photo: Lara Cooper / Noozhawk)

When a significant spill occurs, OSPR deploys a field response team of wardens, environmental scientists and oil spill prevention specialists to evaluate the incident and direct response efforts. OSPR uses a standardized emergency management system commonly referred to as the Incident Command System (ICS). Such a structure incorporates personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard during marine spills and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during inland oil-related incidents, as well as other federal, state, and local government representatives.

In California certain large vessels and facilities are required to develop oil spill contingency plans, each focused on providing best achievable resource protection in the event of an oil spill. OSPR also conducts drills and exercises (some unannounced), in an effort to promote readiness in the event of a spill. Participants include OSPR staff, representatives from the oil industry, and federal, state, and local governments.

Harbor Safety Committees and Port Area Committees (jointly led by OSPR and the U.S. Coast Guard) meet regularly at the state’s five busiest ports to collect feedback from industry, recreational users, environmental groups, city/state/federal government, and labor organizations to improve safety and practices within the harbors.

Organizational Structure

As both a preparedness and response organization, the Office of Spill Prevention and Response has the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s public trustee and custodial responsibilities for protecting, managing, and restoring the State’s wildlife and habitat. It is one of the few State agencies in the nation that has both major pollution response authority and public trustee authority.

Key Web Links

Facebook Feed

8 hours ago

Office of Spill Prevention and Response - OSPR

It’s now been four years since an underground pipeline ruptured and spilled 123,000 gallons of crude oil, much of which reached the ocean at Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County.
This video was taken last week, when surfers and campers were enjoying a warm, breezy May afternoon.
For more information on restoration activities, visit wildlife.ca.gov/ospr/nrda/refugio
...

View on Facebook

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
May 15, 2019 is Peace Officers Memorial Day. CDFW honors and remembers those law enforcement officers who dedicated and ultimately sacrificed their lives for all Californians. These images were taken on May 6 at the California Peace Officers Memorial in Sacramento, during the annual event to enroll the names of the peace officers who died in the line of duty the previous year. “Sometimes it is not the course we choose, but what we leave in our wake, that will be the true measure of our time here.”
...

View on Facebook

OSPR crew monitoring crude oil surface expression into dry intermittent stream bed in Kern County Friday. Investigation ongoing. No visibly oiled #wildlife observed. Cleanup continues.
#environment
...

View on Facebook

OSPR Liaison officials met with California State Park law enforcement Thursday to review best practices for oil spill response. The group toured geographic response locations that included Iowa Hill Bridge, the confluence at the Middle and North Fork American rivers, and Granite Bay boat launch on Folsom Lake. The liaison officer plays a key role during oil spills, serving as the point of contact for representatives of other organizations outside of the Unified Command. State Parks would be a key partner, providing a contact list for all rafting companies in the area. They would also have the ability to get helicopter up to alert boaters of a spill. ...

View on Facebook

Students at Cal Poly took part in an outreach event with wildlife responders on-campus Thursday. OSPR Senior Environmental Scientist Mike Harris shared his wildlife expertise with the students and talked about the rewarding benefits of a career in environmental science. Learn more about career opportunities with CDFW-OSPR here: www.wildlife.ca.gov/Employment/CareersOWCN's Response Specialist Scott Buhl went down to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) on May 4 for an outreach and drill exercise hosted by Cal Poly's One Health Club. These students asked insightful questions and were enthusiastic while learning about oiled wildlife response.

Scott was joined by fellow instructors Heather Harris (Cal Poly SLO), Mike Harris (Office of Spill Prevention and Response - OSPR & MWVCRC) and Becky Duerr (International Bird Rescue).
...

View on Facebook