Oil and Hazardous Materials Spill Response
When a significant spill occurs, the Fish and Wildlife Service plays an important role in the unified Incident Command System (ICS). As part of the ICS, Service Environmental Contaminant Specialists identify sensitive areas that provide important habitat for fish and wildlife, help guide protection and cleanup efforts to ensure that impacts to natural resources are minimized, and oversee rehabilitation of affected wildlife. See Our Role in Coastal Oil Spill Response (pdf) for more details.
Just as importantly, the Service works with other agencies and facility managers to help develop contingency plans before spills occur. This proactive role ensures that fish and wildlife issues are considered throughout the planning process. Spill response contingency planning in our area is coordinated by the Alaska Regional Response Team. The Regional Response Team has adopted a Unified Plan for responding to oil spills in Alaska. Wildlife protection measures are set out in Appendix G of that Plan. (Wildlife Protection Guidelines - pdf).
When spills occur, they must be reported to appropriate response agencies. The National Response Center (1-800-424-8802) is the sole Federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills. In Alaska, spills must also be reported to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) Visit ADEC's website for State spill reporting requirements.
Oil Spill Response Plan for Polar Bears in Alaska - May 2015