Trustee Responsibilities for Preparedness and Response
Acting as natural resource management agencies, trustees:
- Provide assistance on environmental issues in the preparation of Regional and Area Contingency Plans.
- Designate natural resource trustee contacts in Regional and Area Contingency Plans for receiving notification of discharges and releases.
- Provide technical assistance and expertise to the On-Scene Coordinator on appropriate response techniques for environmentally sensitive areas.
- Assist with or take charge of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.
- Facilitate compliance with the consultation requirements of the Endangered Species Act.
- Provide other technical & scientific information as appropriate, including information from Natural Resource Damage Assessment activities that might assist in response activities.
Trustee participation and expertise can help the On-Scene Coordinator assess environmental risks from spills and releases, and design risk-reduction measures.
NCP Authorities for Trustee Preparedness Activities
In developing the fish and wildlife and sensitive environments plan for the Area Contingency Plan, On-Scene Coordinators should contact all trustees with natural resources in the area under consideration. This will usually include the Department of the Interior, the Department of Commerce, other Federal agencies that manage land in the area, the State, and any tribal trustees in the area.
Trustees participate on area committees to identify fish and wildlife and sensitive environments and strategies for protecting and treating them, for inclusion in the Area Contingency Plan [NCP, 300.210(c)(4), 300.615(c)(3)(i)].
On-Scene Coordinators must obtain concurrence from the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce trustees for preapproval of application of specific countermeasures such as use of dispersants, in situ burning, bioremediation, and so on. [40 CFR 300.210(c)(4)(ii)(D) and 910(a)]
NCP Authorities for Trustee Response Activities
- work with the On-Scene Coordinator, who is required to "coordinate all response activities with the affected natural resource trustees and, for discharges of oil. . . consult with the affected trustees on the appropriate removal action to be taken" (300.135(j)(2))
- provide timely advice to the On-Scene Coordinator on trustee resources that are potentially affected by a discharge of oil, including identifying/recommending preapproved response techniques [300.305(e)] and [300.615(c)(3)(i)]
- designate a lead administrative trustee to serve as the focal point for coordination between natural resource damage assessment activities and response operations [40 CFR 300.305(e) and 300.615(c)(3)(ii)]
- ensure that natural resource damage assessment activities do not interfere with response operations [40 CFR 300.615(c)(3)(ii)]; and
- provide data from natural resource damage assessment activities that may support more effective operational decisions to the On-Scene Coordinator in a timely manner [40 CFR 300.305(e)].