In order to best prepare for oil and hazardous material spills originating from Ohio, along the Ohio River (including its tributaries) between Ohio River mile marker 40.1 and 127.2, an interagency team comprised of representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), and other federal, state, local agencies, and the private sector, identified the need for a specialized planning document that will:
1) Describe the roles that agencies and other entities would likely play in an incident, and
2) Give responders a mechanism to help organize both in advance and during a response.
This planning tool will also help multiple agencies to coordinate their operations and resources and make effective and efficient use of their personnel, supplies, and time. This plan addresses oil and hazardous materials spills originating from the “SE Ohio Area” defined as the right decending bank of the Ohio River within U.S. EPA Region 5, the Ohio counties of Columbiana, Jefferson, Belmont, and Monroe, and the Ohio tributaries along the Ohio River between Ohio River mile marker 40.1 and 127.2. Spills originating on the Ohio River or originating from the West Virginia Bank (left decending bank) of the Ohio River, or counties located within West Virginia are the jurisdiction of U.S. EPA Region 3 or the USCG (see Agency Roles and Responsibilities section of this plan for details). General West Virginia information is included in this plan for reference.
The objective is to promote timely and effective coordination among the spill community, including Federal, state, local, and private entities in response to an oil discharge or hazardous substance release within the SE Ohio Area.
The scope of this document involves discharges of oil that reach or threaten to reach navigable waters of the U.S. and releases into the environment of hazardous substances and pollutants or contaminants that may present an imminent and substantial danger to public health or welfare.
To help meet these needs, the enclosed Response Checklist and initial Incident Action Plan (IAP) document was created in 2015. The plan has been tailored to identify the Incident Command System (ICS) forms most likely to be initially used in an SE Ohio area response and includes potential objectives as well as a detailed emergency contact list. The plan provides a concise and coherent means of capturing and communicating the overall incident priorities, objectives, and strategies in the context of both operational and support activities.
The response plan was developed to aid the implementation of the ICS. During an incident, the ICS emphasizes orderly and systematic planning, and this Response Checklist and initial IAP are intended to be the central tool for planning during the Operational Period #1 of response at the discretion of the Incident Commander (IC). The plan is not intended to supersede the direction or authority of the IC, or to preclude communication or flexibility in response. The level of detail required in an Incident Action Plan will vary according to the size and complexity of the response. After the Operational Period #2 of an incident, it is expected that this IAP will be superseded by a response specific IAP as needed.
The response plan was developed to be consistent with, and support, existing plans and procedures including the U.S. EPA Region 5 RCP/ACP, U.S. EPA Region 4 Ohio River Umbrella Plan, U.S. EPA Region 3 Southwest Wheeling Sub-Area Contingency Plan, state response plans, and local response plans.