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Oil spills can wreak havoc on the environment and cause irreversible damage if they aren’t controlled in a timely manner. However, emergency responders need to be trained to react to emergencies quickly and efficiently to prevent more damage. The type of training they receive should depend on their proximity to the spill and whether they need to stop, contain or recover oil from release.

For instance, workers who are assigned as early responders to an oil spill should be given more training compared to those who just warn others about it. A smooth emergency response is one in which each worker knows what he/she has to do to and are aware of the conditions they have to work in.

The role of the National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan

Oil spills that happen out at sea are regulated and managed by regulations that are found in 40 CFR 300 in the NCP. The National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan is the blueprint for the federal government that details how anyone should respond to an oil spill.

The regulations that are set in place detail how to respond to the release of hazardous substances and oil spills. They were a joint collaborations between the USGC and the EPA.

According to the NCP, marine oil spills can be divided into 2 categories namely:

  1. Emergency response operations
  2. Post-emergency cleanups

Both are based on HAZWOPER standards and are determined by the size of a spill. Usually, personnel who are involved in post emergency operations undergo different training as opposed to those who only respond to emergency operations.

Emergency responders respond to spills from outside the release area or through other emergency personnel such as firefighters and aid groups. The response is also common for incidents in which other hazardous substances are released in an uncontrolled environment.

Rather than determining the least amount of training required for each responder, organizations should train them to the highest level possible to eliminate risks. At present, there are 6 titles that are present for different responsibilities for these personnel and each corresponds to different training levels. Similarly, post emergency responders have to undergo 4 hours of training to do a good job. Each level is based on predictable oil or hazardous material exposure.

Certified Environmental Specialist

Whether you are an emergency responder or a post emergency responder for marine oil spills, knowing the impact of hazardous material on the environment is part of your job. Certified Environmental Specialist training program given a comprehensive overview on EPA regulations to all personnel who work with hazardous material.

This includes workers who are working as safety directors on-site or working on projects that pose a danger to the environment. The course offers over 24 hours of instruction on all important EPA regulations such as the CAA, TSCA, RCBA, CERCLA, CWA among others. Since it can be taken completely online all you need to do is sign up and log in. Sign up for the course today.

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