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Tools to Manage a Response

Incident Command System

ICS is a standardized on-scene emergency management system specifically designed to allow its user(s) to adopt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries.

This approach:
  • integrates the party responsible for the spill, the state, and the Coast Guard in a unified command structure that expands according to need, and
  • establishes a pre-determined decision-making process and a common language that significantly reduces confusion and misunderstandings among personnel from different organizations.
This structure has been adapted by industry and government agencies to define and coordinate their roles and responsibilities in the event of a spill. The Incident Command System has been tested and practiced extensively in drills.

The National Incident Management System is the response management system (mandated by the federal government for all emergency responses) used by most plan holders and approved by the Northwest Area Committee.

Additional resources


Geographic Response Plans are intended to help first responders avoid the initial confusion that generally accompanies any spill. They prioritize resources to be protected and allow for immediate and proper action. The GRPs are published separately, but are an integral part of the Northwest Area Contingency Plan.

The Northwest Geographic Response Plans are produced jointly by the Northwest Area Committee led by EPA Region Ten, USCG Marine Safety Office Portland, USCG Marine Safety Office Puget Sound, Idaho Bureau of Hazardous Materials, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and Washington Department of Ecology. Oregon DEQ maintains the master copy of the five Oregon coastal GRPs.

For More Information

Please contact Don Pettit, 503-229-5373, or toll free in Oregon: 1-800-452-4011 x5373


Kimberlee Van Patten
Senior Emergency Response Coordinator
Office: 503-229-5256
Cell: 971-563-8034