Texas produces nearly twice and much oil as the next highest producing U.S. state and has approximately 3300 miles of sensitive jurisdictional shoreline boarding the second highest area of our nation's oil production, the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to over 27 operating refineries and hosts 3 of the top 10 busiest ports in the nation. Since 1991, the Texas General Land Office (TGLO) has built an oil spill prevention and response program that is arguably the premier state oil spill program in the nation; one that responds 24/7 to over 600 reported spills per year, certifies, audits and inspects over 600 oil handling facilities, administers an abandoned vessel removal program, an oily bilge facility program, and has an ongoing oil spill R&D program and its own state Scientific Support Coordinator, ensuring that prevention, planning and response activities are state of the science. The TGLO produces the Texas Oil Spill Toolkit, now in its 17th edition, which is a spill planning and response resource for the western Gulf of Mexico, and houses a collection of plans and documents in a single, easy to use online/off-line .html format. Plans include up-to-date Area Committee Plans (ACP) and pre-planning documents, all aligned with the National Response Framework (NRF). Included are Regional Response Team VI (RRT) documents and guidance, pre-authorization plans and mapping for alternative spill response, Priority Protection Areas (PPA), Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps (ESI), and site specific Geographic Response Plans (GRP). This paper describes the conception, history and evolution of the building and operation of a state response organization in an era of “less government”.

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