Roles of Responders and Other Agencies

Roles of responders and other agencies are defined in the Incident Command System or ICS. The ICS is a management system designed to enable an efficient incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. ICS is normally structured to facilitate activities in five major function areas: command, operations, planning, logistics, and finance. The ICS structure allows for integration of federal, state, tribal, and local agencies into the response. It allows for a coordinated effort that can be as large or as small as the response dictates.

Goals of Response Goals of NRDA
  • Control the spill
  • Contain the discharge
  • Remove spilled oil or hazardous substances from the environment
  • Keep oil away from natural resources
  • Compensate the public for losses in trust natural resources and resource services resulting from injury as a result of a discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance.
  • Compensation must restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of lost resources/resource services.
  • Identify resources at risk and make response aware of sensitive areas of concern.
  • Led by the OSCs/IC
  • Led by the Federal/State Lead Administrative Trustee (FLAT or SLAT)

Source: Natural Resource Damage Assessment Activities during an Emergency Response.  NOAA Office of Response and Restoration/Assessment and Restoration Division.  Sarah Allan. December 2016.

The typical command structure formed within ICS that incorporates NRDAR looks like this:


Source: Adapted from the Alaska Incident Management System (AIMS) Guide for Oil and Hazardous Substance Response. November 2002, Rev. 1.

The typical command structure for NRDAR looks like this:

Joint NRDA Team Leaders

Source: Incident Command System (ICS) Job Aid for Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Response and Restoration, Assessment and Restoration Division.  October 2017. 

Bear in mind that the incident command system (ICS) allows response and NRDAR activities to be scaled based on the size of the spill or release. For smaller spills, one person may fill several of the roles in the incident command.

  • The unified command will consist of the federal and state on scene coordinators, the responsible party, and tribal and local on scene coordinators.

  • NRDAR is independent of, and complimentary to, response, and a NRDAR Liaison is assigned to represent the NRDAR trustees.

How NRDAR and Response Work Together

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