California emergency regulations governing the development of oil spill contingency plans and financial responsibility for inland facilities, pipelines, refineries and railroads became effective in 2015, with final regulation adoption scheduled for the fall of 2016. With the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) Office of Spill Prevention and Response's (OSPR) authority for oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response being extended to inland waters of the State, the need to develop Geographic Response Plans (GRP) for sensitive watersheds having relatively high oil spill risk has become a top priority. Previously developed GRPs in California have focused on waterways shared with Nevada and have not considered oil spill response, per se. Given the successful history with developing, implementing, and maintaining the California marine Area Contingency Plans (ACP), OSPR intends to implement a similarly effective GRP program.
GRP's will be driven primarily by access to sites along river systems and lakes where response activities are feasible. Current efforts are underway to complete a Feather River GRP. The Feather River GRP has been vetted through the regional Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) which is comprised of first responders, railroad representatives, and federal, State, and local government agencies. The process of developing GRP's for the State will consist of: 1) developing a consistent framework based on the Feather River GRP, as well as previously developed GRPs; 2) implementing a Statewide GRP Steering Committee; 3) developing partnerships with industry representatives, and federal, State and local agencies, including first responders (LEPC's and others) to ensure critical local expertise and information is incorporated.
With the emerging trend of oil by rail transportation, historical spill threats from other sources, and the promulgation of emergency regulations extending OSPR's oil spill preparedness activities to inland waters, the development of GRP's for at-risk watersheds is critical. The purpose of this poster is to provide an overview of the efforts to produce GRP's to provide oil spill response strategies for inland waters Statewide.