U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Geographic Response Strategies

Site Contact:
Karen Way
OSC/GRS Coordinator


Site Location:
Boston, MA 02109

Geographic Response Strategies (GRS) are map based planning documents intended to be used as a tool employed by first responders. The GRS help guide local responders to effectively deploy containment and recovery equipment in the event of a spill to navigable waterways.

The GRS developed for the Inland Zone in Region 1 (the 6 New England states) were developed collaboratively by multi-agency workgroups which consisted of representatives from federal, tribal, state, and local government agencies, non-governmental organizations, industry/contractors, and private citizens. As they are developed and approved, the Inland GRS will become integrated into the Region 1 Inland Area Contingency Plan. GRS include:

• Image(s) of the area for which the GRS was developed
• Graphic display of recommended strategies
• List of local emergency contacts
• Estimated accounting of equipment required to deploy and maintain the
strategy (feet of boom, number of anchors, personnel etc.)
• Identifies staging areas and sensitive natural, cultural and human use features

Strategies identified in GRS are not mandates, but rather tools meant to assist the Incident Command (IC) or Unified Command (UC) make operational decisions and facilitate the resource ordering process. The IC/UC should use their best professional judgement to determine the appropriate response strategy based on safety, current local conditions, resource availability, and personnel training/experience.

EPA Region 1 Inland GRS are available at the Regional Response Team 1 (RRT1) website by following this link:


Additionally, several states in Region 1 have developed GRS, primarily for the Coastal Zones. Links to various GRS projects in the Region are listed below:

• Massachusetts Coastal Zone Geographic Response Strategies:
Currently updating 

• Maine/New Hampshire Coastal Zone Geographic Response Strategies:

• Rhode Island Coastal Zone Geographic Response Strategies: