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Office of Response and Restoration

Emergency Response Division

Collisions, Hurricanes Mark Busy Spill Response Season

podcastBusy Year for Oil Spill ResponseMaking Waves (audio podcast)



Another Record-breaking Year for Spill Response

In fiscal year 2009, the Office of Response and Restoration’s Emergency Response Division once again responded to a record number of incidents.

spilled oil

The Office of Response and Restoration provides scientific expertise for successful incident response and restoration, helping to reduce harm to people, the environment, and the economy.

Every year, NOAA responds to natural and human-induced incidents threatening life, property, and NOAA trust resources. Fiscal year 2009 was no exception, with the Emergency Response Division providing support on 202 incidents, including 164 oil spills, 24 chemical spills, and 14 miscellaneous incidents. These 202 incidents represent a 20 percent increase over 2008 response levels and 70 percent over the historic rate of 120 incidents per year. Thus far, it looks like 2010 will be another busy year.

The Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) is the primary NOAA office charged with responding to oil spills, hazardous material releases, and marine debris. OR&R’s experts provide scientific support to the U.S. Coast Guard for spills, and they also coordinate with other agencies during hazardous material releases to ensure protection and restoration of natural resources. OR&R also coordinates with federal, state, and tribal natural resource trustees to restore damaged coastal resources.

Federal, state, and local agencies and governments across the country rely on NOAA support to mitigate harm, provide critical information for allocation of response assets, restore adverse effects on natural resources, aid planning and response decision making, and document damages.