Spill management teams

Spill management teams (SMTs) are representatives and assigned personnel trained to integrate into an incident command system or unified command system and manage an oil spill. Spill management teams may be made up of oil spill contingency plan holder personnel and/or contracted personnel that are directly responsible to a contingency plan holder.

An update to Chapter 173-182 Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Oil Spill Contingency Plan Rule became effective on Jan. 18, 2020. Under the updated rule, we established a process for the review and approval of spill management teams. Internal company spill management teams are approved through the contingency plan approval process. Contract SMTs are approved through the application process detailed below. SMTs must be approved by the state in order to be cited in oil spill contingency plans. 

Requirements for spill management teams

According to our contingency planning rule, an approved spill management team must commit to the following:

  • Have a process to provide 24 hour per day contact for spill management
  • Begin mobilization efforts immediately upon notification but no later than two hours from notification of a spill
  • Ensure the incident commander is able to arrive in the state within six hours after notification of a spill, if the SMT is contracted to fill the role
  • Assist plan holders in meeting requirements for plans and drills
  • Implement and use the contingency plan(s) to which they are contracted during a spill and substantial threat of a spill, and train personnel to implement the plan
  • Work in unified command within the incident command system to ensure that all personnel and equipment resources necessary to the response will be called out to clean up the spill safely and to the maximum extent practicable
  • Provide written notification to us and plan holders to whom they are obligated, within 24 hours, of any significant change in the information reported in the approved application

Our oil spill contingency plan rule requires a 30-day public review and comment period on SMT applications.

State approved SMTs  

State-approved SMTs may be cited in oil spill contingency plans. Not all SMTs maintain the same level of capability. Some submit applications for only a few key roles such as those in the Planning Section or Operations Section. Other SMTs maintain full teams with the ability to manage a full response. The teams are approved for the capabilities they detail in the application.   

Alaska Steamship Response
31429 Tongass Blvd
Ketchikan, AK 99901
Expires 1/3/2025

701 Cedar Lake Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73114
Expires 7/8/2025

5120 North Shore Dr.
Littlerock, Arkansas 72118
Expires 3/26/2027

Emergency Management Services International (EMSI)
219 East Davis St, Suite 210
Culpeper, VA 22701
Expires: 10/20/2024

Gallagher Marine Systems
305 Harper Drive
Moorestown, New Jersey 08057
Expires 6/26/2026

170 W. Dayton St. Suite 106A
Edmonds, WA 98020
Expires 6/27/2026

GHD Services
9725 3rd Avenue NE Ste 204
Seattle, WA  98115
Expires 1/22/2027

Hudson Marine Management Services
1800 Chapel Avenue West, Suite 360
Cherry Hill, NJ 8002
Expires 8/19/2024

Polaris Applied Sciences
12529 131st Court NE
Kirkland, WA 98034
Expires 6/5/2026

O'Brien's Response Management LLC.
818 Town and Country Blvd., #200
Houston, TX 77024
Expires 7/20/2026

Rio Environmental Consultants
817 9th Ave
Helena, Montana 59601
Expires 1/22/2027

The Response Group
13939 Telege Rd.
Cypress, Texas 77429
Expires 3/5/2027

Technical assistance

Read the oil spill contingency plan rule that guides spill management team requirements. Review our Spill Management Team Focus Sheet. If you have questions about the capabilities of a state approved SMT, call Sonja Larson at 360-480-2263.

Apply to become a state-approved SMT

Complete the SMT application form and send it to contractorapp@ecy.wa.gov  

Additional information for vessel companies enrolled under multi-vessel or umbrella contingency plans

Companies whose vessels transit state waters for arrival in Washington ports must be enrolled in a state-approved contingency plan. These companies may submit their own plan or enroll in an “umbrella plan” or “multi-vessel plan,” which are submitted on behalf of multiple covered vessels. 

Currently in Washington there are three approved multi-vessel plans: Washington State Maritime Cooperative (WSMC), National Response Corporation (NRC), and Maritime Fire & Safety Association (MFSA). These plans have unique considerations under the SMT requirements. The multi-vessel plan holder is required to meet the SMT requirements of WAC 173-182 until a specified time (typically 24 hours) at which point the enrolled vessel SMT takes over response management duties. After July 21, 2021, upon enrollment in a multi-vessel plan, you must identify an approved SMT willing and capable of assuming a transition of authority from the multi-vessel contingency plan holder. You may contract an approved SMT or apply to become an approved SMT to meet this requirement. For additional information about multiple vessel contingency plans, see our focus sheet.