Hazardous Spills Preparedness and Response
The Upper Mississippi River is home to a diverse set of natural resources and provides for a variety of human uses, including industry, transportation, and recreation. Prevention of, and preparation for, spills of hazardous materials is a critical element in maintaining the multiple uses of the river. Coordination in spill response among the various entities with jurisdiction on the river is essential to preparation.
The UMRBA has played a key role in spill response planning and coordination through the Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group, and in its Spill Response Mapping and Planning activities.
Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group
Since 1989, the UMRBA has provided staff support for the Upper Mississippi River Hazardous Spills Coordination Group (UMR Spills Group), which includes representatives of state and federal agencies who play a role in contingency planning and spill response on the river. The UMR Spills Group provides a forum for interagency coordination, serves as a voice for the region's spill responders on various issues, and helps in the preparation and execution of training activities.
Among the Group's accomplishments are development and maintenance of the Upper Mississippi River Spill Response Plan and Resource Manual, which has been adopted by the state and federal agency members of the UMR Spills Group. The UMR Plan is designed to complement broader regional and national contingency plans by addressing issues and concerns related specifically to spill response on the Upper Mississippi River. The Plan includes a resource manual which contains information about potential spill sources, vulnerable resources, and response assets.
Spill Response Planning and Mapping
Pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the UMRBA is also engaged in a related cooperative planning and mapping effort. Funded largely by U.S. EPA Region 5, the project partners also include the Great Lakes Commission.
Spill Response Plans. In addition, this cooperative effort has developed local, sub-area contingency plans for areas including Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Quad Cities, St. Louis, and Peoria.
Inland Sensitivity Atlas. The mapping initiative is known as the Inland Sensitivity Mapping Project. Using geographic information system (GIS) applications, the partners are producing integrated maps showing potential spill sources, sensitive human and environmental resources, and other important features.