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

Cymric Incident update: Crews continue to monitor the site of a surface expression of oil and water in Kern County, while engineers continue testing wells in the vicinity to determine the cause of the flow.
At this time, cleanup efforts in one section of the site are limited pending completion of the diagnostic work. In the meantime, solids and liquids continue to be handled for disposal.
Biological monitors continue to observe the site twice daily. Wildlife hazing measures to deter wildlife from the area (including propane cannons) continue, and are adjusted to optimize effectiveness and to avoid habituation by wildlife in the area. Staff from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network are also on-site supporting operations. To date, one bird, a lesser nighthawk, was discovered oiled and did not survive.
OSPR is also conducting weekly drone flights to survey inaccessible areas and generate detailed mapping data for the ongoing response.
These photos from Sept. 11 show cleanup progress at the site.
...

View on Facebook

5 days ago

Office of Spill Prevention and Response - OSPR

OSPR crew responding to a 65-foot sunken vessel at Village West Marina and Resort in Stockton. Sheen observed, but containment boom deployed. No wildlife observed to be impacted, and an estimated 200 gallons of diesel will soon be removed from the vessel. ...

View on Facebook

6 days ago

Office of Spill Prevention and Response - OSPR

OSPR crew still monitoring the Upper Truckee River in the City of South Lake Tahoe Government after a tanker truck accident released fuel Saturday. So far no sheen or affected wildlife have been observed. Containment boom deployed as a precaution. ...

View on Facebook

1 week ago

Office of Spill Prevention and Response - OSPR

OSPR crew remains on-scene of tanker truck accident on Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe. No visible sheen or affected wildlife observed in Upper Truckee River near overpass; scientist is continuing survey downstream. ...

View on Facebook

OSPR crew responding to fatal tanker truck accident on Highway 50 at Elks Club Drive in South Lake Tahoe. Fuel from the truck reportedly entered the Upper Truckee River, which flows into Lake Tahoe. More updates to come. ...

View on Facebook