Region 1: EPA New England

EPA Region One's Inland Area Contingency Plan

The U.S. EPA has developed this New England Inland Area Contingency Plan (ACP) to provide responders with information necessary to respond to an oil spill within the geographic extent of New England.  The U.S. Coast Guard has responsibility for contingency planning for coastal waters and deepwater ports in New England.

Components of the New England Inland Area Contingency Plan

Text (PDF) (333 pp, 4.4MB, about PDF):

Information developed to assist in identifying available resources (e.g., equipment and trained personnel) and coordinating the activities of the different government agencies and private organizations that need to be notified and involved in the response.  The plans also describe the roles and responsibilities of each responding agency during a spill incident, and how the agencies will respond if they are called upon in an emergency. These plans also describe how two or more Areas might interact, such as when a spill occurs in a river that flows between Areas, to assure that a spill is controlled and cleaned up in a timely and safe manner.


Maps showing human and natural resources that may be at risk or potentially impacted by the oil spill and/or the response itself.   These environmentally sensitive areas in all six New England States are presented on scalable maps that can be downloaded.  Maps show locations specifically designated as environmentally sensitive areas or points, water bodies, dams, tribal lands, roads, railroads, schools, airports, and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) facilities within New England (Appendix 2 of the ACP).  Also shown is the jurisdictional boundary between EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Background of Contingency Planning

Because the impacts of an oil spill can vary widely, from isolated incidents that are contained on-site by facility response personnel to incidents that impact human health and the environment on local, regional, national, and even international scales, contingency plans are developed to address the specific geographic scope of the incident.  Under our current national emergency response infrastructure for oil spills, planning occurs on five basic levels: facility, local, area, regional, and national.

Area plans are often brought into action when facilities are unable to handle spills on their own. Under the authority of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, EPA initially established 13 Areas covering the U.S. and convened Area Committees comprised of federal, state, and local government agencies to prepare contingency plans for the designated areas.

This Area Contingency Plan (ACP) is required by Title IV, Section 4202 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), which amends Subsection (j) of Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) (33 U.S.C. 1321 (j)) as amended by the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1977 (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq). 

This ACP was developed in conjunction with the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), the Region I Regional Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (RCP), and contains the information required by OPA section 4202 for the purpose of addressing discharges or the substantial threat of discharges of oil, including information regarding the structure of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Response System (NRS), authorities, definitions, and abbreviations.  Area-specific information includes federally-recognized tribal and state authorities, and procedures related to emergency response actions, notification of release/discharge, waste management and disposal, and cost recovery.

2006 Revision to the NE Inland Area Contingency Plan
This 2006 web version of the NE Inland Area Contingency Plan has been updated in the following ways:

  1. Content now includes the use of web-based and geographic information system (GIS) technology (ACP Maps),
  2. Structure has been consolidated from two volumes into one (the original version of the ACP was comprised of two volumes dated December, 1993)
  3. Informational text has been updated (the original Volume I was revised in September, 1998.  Volume II was not updated in 1998).