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.

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An OSPR team noted numerous derelict vessels during #Delta overflight. These present environmental, public safety & navigational hazards. ...

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La OSPR y la Oiled Wildlife Care Network (Red de Atención a la Fauna Empetrolada (OWCN) instauran una unidad de respuesta móvil para la fauna silvestre como parte de un simulacro de derrame de petróleo en Quincy, California. Éste ha sido el primer simulacro de respuesta a derrames de OWCN del interior desde la expansión por todo el estado de OSPR en 2014. Estos simulacros sirven para la preparación del estado mayor de la OWCN para rescatar fauna empetrolada tal como las aves, las tortugas, las ranas y los conejos. En un incidente de derramamiento, se podría instaurar la unidad en menos de seis horas, y podría servir de instalación para atención primaria, con capacidad de atender a más de cincuenta animales acorde a su extensión y la necesidad. ...

Bly Channel Spill

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OSPR and the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) set up the network's mobile wildlife response unit today as part of an oil spill drill in Quincy, CA. This is the first inland OWCN spill response drill since OSPR's statewide expansion in 2014. These drills help OWCN staff prepare to respond to oiled wildlife such as birds, turtles, frogs, and rabbits. In a spill event, the unit could be setup in less than six hours, and would serve as a primary care facility, potentially handling more than fifty animals depending on size and need. ...

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OSPR conducted unannounced drills in the Bakersfield area this week. Production facilities were tested for initial notification response calls, and an oil spill management team was tested for activation of the Incident Command System (ICS). The drills were officiated by OSPR environmental scientists and an oil spill prevention specialist, ensuring that facilities maintain working contingency plans onsite. All companies were successful. ...

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OSPR crews monitoring pipeline spill cleanup in Castaic in #LACounty. 630 gallons crude oil reportedly released into dry creek bed Monday. Cleanup ongoing. ...

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