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Coastal Spill Response

Responding to a variety of spills that impact the coast of New Hampshire.

Spill Response and Complaint Investigation Section (SRCIS) responds to a variety of spills that impact the coast of New Hampshire. Spills on the coast result from many sources including oily bilge discharges, impacts to storm drains, sunken or damaged vessels and storage tank failures. If you are aware of a release that impacts surface water, call the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802.

Large tidal fluctuations along the coast and strong river currents make a swift and coordinated response essential for a successful outcome. NHDES works with our industry partners to plan and train for large coastal spill responses. Equipment and supplies have been staged along the coast for quick deployment and an Incident Command Post is maintained at the NHDES Portsmouth Office for use during coastal emergencies.

Portsmouth Oil Spill Workgroup

NHDES co-chairs the Portsmouth Oil Spill Workgroup with Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard. The workgroup brings together federal, state and local agencies, industry partners, oil spill contractors and non-governmental organizations to address response issues specific to New Hampshire and Southern Maine. An annual full scale oil spill exercise is held at the Command Post. The exercise allows responders from multiple agencies and organizations to practice the Incident Command System, build relationships and test the Maine and New Hampshire Area Contingency Plan (ACP). A Communication Committee is organized by a group of dedicated local radio operators to provide communication assistance during exercises and large oil spills.

Geographic Response Strategies (GRSs) are designed for use during marine oil spills impacting surface water and are incorporated into the ACP. To test the GRSs, boom deployments are regularly practiced and/or coordinated by NHDES. These GRSs are reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis. EPA has contracted the design of 15 New Hampshire Inland Response Strategies. The US National Response Team has these strategies available for download as a .pdf.  The link to these strategies and additional documents may be found in the quick links section of this webpage.


Spill Response Planning and Preparedness Manager