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Disaster Response

EPA's Role During a Disaster

EPA's emergency response program
EPA assists the Department of Homeland Security's response activities related to hazardous materials, including chemical, biological and radiological substances. Each year, more than 20,000 emergencies involving the release or threatened release of oil and hazardous substances are reported in the United States.

EPA's emergency response managers
An on-scene coordinator is the EPA employee in charge of monitoring or directing responses to oil spills and hazardous substance releases reported to the federal government. The coordinator pulls together federal efforts with local, state and regional response. EPA coordinators are responsible for spills and releases to inland areas and waters, while U.S. Coast Guard coordinators have responsibility for coastal waters and the Great Lakes.

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