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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Policy, Management and Budget
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8. What Is The On-Scene Coordinator Obligated To Do With Regard To Trustees?

During preparedness activities, On-Scene Coordinators must:

  • Consult trustees in writing the Fish and Wildlife and Sensitive Environments Plan of the Area Contingency Plan.

    Section 300.210(c)(4) of the NCP calls for preparation of a plan that identifies fish and wildlife and sensitive environments in the area covered by the ACP and strategies for protecting and treating them, for inclusion in the ACP. The plan is to be prepared in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Department of Commerce, and other interested natural resource management agencies and parties. This list essentially covers the natural resource trustees.

    In developing the fish and wildlife and sensitive environments plan for the ACP, the On-Scene Coordinator should contact all trustees responsible for resources in the area under consideration. This will usually include the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce through NOAA, other Federal land managers in the area, State natural resource agencies, and tribal trustees in the area.

    Subpart G of the NCP calls for trustees to provide information on sensitive environments and assistance in identifying or recommending response techniques in the ACP [40 CFR 300.615(c)(3)(i)].

  • Request trustee approval of preauthorization plans for dispersants and other chemical countermeasures.

    Under the NCP, On-Scene Coordinators must obtain the concurrence of the Department of Commerce and Department of the Interior natural resource trustees for plans preapproving use of chemical countermeasures during emergency response.

During response activities, On-Scene Coordinators must:

  • Notify trustees of incidents [40 CFR 300.135(j)(1); 300.305(e); and 300.320(a)(5)].

    Trustees must be notified of spills and releases so they can begin taking appropriate actions.

    The NCP requires the On-Scene Coordinator to notify all trustees, not just the Federal trustees. The Area Contingency Plan should include a notification protocol worked out between the On-Scene Coordinator and the Federal, State, and Indian tribal trustees. In the case of spills that cross an international boundary, the On-Scene Coordinator may be required to notify foreign trustees as well.

    The trustee notification requirement is different from the Regional Response Team (RRT) notification requirement. Trustees are to be notified of spills when the RRT might not be. Some trustees, usually the Interior and Commerce trustees, are RRT members, so when the RRT is notified, these trustees will be, also. Other trustees will not be covered by RRT notification and must be notified separately and even when the RRT is not notified.

    The On-Scene Coordinator is not obliged to notify the trustees him or herself, but must ensure that timely notification occurs.

  • Consult trustees about protection priorities and methods.

    The NCP [section 300.135(j)(2)] requires the On-Scene Coordinator to coordinate all response activities with the affected natural resource trustees, and, for oil spills, to consult with the affected trustees on the appropriate removal action to be taken. During this consultation, the trustees will advise the On-Scene Coordinator as to which resources are considered most sensitive to the spilled material. The requirement to consult trustees on actions to remove oil applies to ALL trustees, not just the Federal trustees.

  • Share non-monetary response resources with natural resource trustees conducting Natural Resource Damage Assessment activities so long as this does not hinder response activities.

    The NCP [section 300.305(e) and 615(c)(3)(iii)] provides for the On-Scene Coordinator to make response resources such as aircraft, vessels, and boom available to natural resource trustees for use in NRDA activities, so long as these activities and use of these resources do not interfere with response actions. This may also involve advising trustees when space is available on overflights of the spill area.

  • Provide funding from the On-Scene Coordinator's ceiling for the incident to pay for natural resource trustees' assistance to the On-Scene Coordinator on response to oil spills.

    The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is available under certain circumstances to fund removal of oil under section 311 of the Clean Water Act. The NCP [300.335(b)] provides that Federal agencies assisting the On-Scene Coordinator in response to an oil spill may be reimbursed.

    Trustees apply to the On-Scene Coordinator for funding for response activities. The On-Scene Coordinator is responsible for approving the funding level and the work that trustee perform with this money. This funding may not be used for any NRDA activities. Trustees submit all required documentation and requests for reimbursement to the On-Scene Coordinator.


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[Table of Contents]
[1. Why Are Trustees Involved?]
[2. What Is A Natural Resource Trustee?]
[3. Who Are The Federal Trustees?]
[4. Who Are The State Trustees?]
[5. Who Are The Indian Trustees?]
[6. What Are Natural Resources?]
[7. Co-Trusteeship.]
[9. The Trustees' Responsibilities?]
[10. Major Concepts In NRDA.]
[11. NRDA Process.]