Emergency Responses and Cleanup Activities
Each year, thousands of emergencies involving oil spills or the release (or threatened release) of hazardous substances are reported in the United States, potentially affecting both communities and the surrounding natural environment. Emergencies range from small scale spills to large events requiring prompt action and evacuation of nearby populations.
EPA coordinates and implements a wide range of activities to ensure that adequate and timely response measures are taken in communities affected by hazardous substances releases and oil spills where state and local first responder capabilities have been exceeded or where additional support is needed. EPA’s emergency response program responds to chemical, oil, biological, and radiological releases and large-scale national emergencies, including homeland security incidents. EPA conducts time-critical and non-time-critical removal actions when necessary to protect human health and the environment by either funding response actions directly or overseeing and enforcing actions conducted by potentially responsible parties.
In carrying out these responsibilities, EPA coordinates with other EPA programs (including the Superfund remedial program), other federal agencies, states, tribes, and local governments.