NYMPP: Section 6 - Emergency Planning
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Having a licensed
spill cleanup contractor on retainer avoids the added expense of a regulatory agency hiring one for you. Having an emergency response plan assures you more control during emergencies.

New York Sea Grant's
Marina Pollution Prevention Web Site

Section 6:
Emergency Planning

Potential Environmental Impacts

Being adequately prepared for emergency action can potentially reduce the overall environmental impact of a spill, fire or other event.

Best Management Practices

Assess potential hazards at your facility, both manmade (fuel spill or fire) and natural (nor'easter or hurricane).

Develop an oil spill contingency plan, even if you are not required by law to prepare an Spill Prevention and Control Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan (see Regulatory Issues section below). Such plans should identify potential spill sources, oil and hazardous materials used or stored in the area, spill prevention measures (e.g., security, inspection, containment, training, equipment), and spill emergency procedures, including contact information of marina personnel qualified to lead spill response efforts, notification, and spill containment measures.

Store spill containment and control materials in a clearly marked location, readily accessible to work and storage areas. These spill response kits should include absorbent pads and booms, empty sandbags, sewer pipe plugs, drain covers, fire extinguishers, and a copy of the facility's spill contingency plan.

  • Develop emergency response plans that include written procedures for action addressing potential emergency situations. Keep the plan in an accessible location. A spill contingency plan and emergency response plan can be combined into one document. Emergency response plans should:

  • Include a site plan of the facility, showing valves, pipes, tanks, structures, roads, hydrants, docks, power and fuel shutoffs, hazardous material storage locations, telephones, and location of emergency response materials.

  • Describe the type, amount, and location of hazardous and potentially hazardous materials stored on-site.

  • Identify which staff member will take what action in the event of an emergency.

  • Designate one person as the spokesperson for the marina.

  • Include a list of emergency phone numbers for:
    • USCG National Response Center (800) 424-8802 (for spills)
    • State Spill Response [In New York (800) 457 7362
    • Local fire and police
    • Facility owner
    • Local harbormaster
    • Neighboring marinas that have emergency response equipment
    • Spill response contractors

  • List and describe actions to be taken during an emergency and, based on likely threats, what equipment should be deployed.

  • Indicate when additional resources should be called for assistance.

  • Update the emergency response plan as necessary each year.

  • Review the emergency response plan with employees, and train them on proper use of containment material.

Contact local emergency response providers or local U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office to obtain basic information about how to handle emergencies and/or for training opportunities.

Inform local fire department and harbormaster of your emergency response plan.

Develop an action checklist for severe weather. Preparations to reduce environmental risks include securing all dumpsters, removing or securing all objects which could potentially blow or wash away, and securing waterside sewage pumpouts and/or dump stations.

Regulatory Issues

If your facility stores gas or oil 1) above-ground in any size tank(s) with a total aggregate volume over 1,320 gallons (containers of less than 55 gallons and/or permanently closed storage tanks are exempt from the total); or 2) in underground storage tanks with total capacity greater than 42,000 gallons (unless the tanks are compliant with the state requirement for USTs), you need to prepare a Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan, which outlines a facility-wide plan to prevent and clean up oil and gasoline spills [40 CFR 112, click here]. For more information on the federal program for marinas, click here). For a sample SPCC plan, click here.

If your facility is a Large Quantity Generator of hazardous waste, you must prepare a hazardous waste contingency plan. For more information on New York's Hazardous Waste Regulations and compliance requirements for marinas, click here.

If you have a marine service station, you must design and manage it to prevent spills, fire and other dangers as required in the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Automotive and Marine Service Station Code (NFPA 30A). (To view a copy of this section of the code on-line at the NFPA Web site, click here.) These requirements are adopted locally. Check with your municipal fire marshal for local requirements, or contact the State Fire Marshall's Office. (In New York call (518) 474-6746 or e-mail at fire@dos.state.ny.us).

If you store hazardous materials in quantities above certain threshold amounts, you must report storage of that substance under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) [40 CFR 355, click here]. For more information on EPCRA requirements, click here.

Keep copies of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous substances used at your facility [Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 USC Section 657].

In case of a spill of oil, petroleum, chemical liquids or solids, liquid, gaseous products or hazardous waste, report the spill to your state spill response division. [In New York, call the NYSDEC Spill Response Unit at (800) 457 7362] For more information on spill response requirements, click here.

If any fuel that is spilled into navigable waters causes a visible sheen, it may be necessary to report that spill to the National Response Center at (800) 424-8802 [Section 311 of the Clean Water Act; 33 USC 1321].