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National Response Center

The National Response Center (NRC) is the federal government's national communications center, which is staffed 24 hours a day by U.S. Coast Guard officers and marine science technicians. The NRC is the sole federal point of contact for reporting all hazardous substances releases and oil spills. The NRC receives all reports of releases involving hazardous substances and oil that trigger federal notification requirements under several laws.

Reports to the NRC activate the National Contingency Plan and the federal government's response capabilities. It is the responsibility of the NRC staff to notify the pre-designated On-Scene Coordinator assigned to the area of the incident and to collect available information on the size and nature of the release, the facility or vessel involved, and the party(ies) responsible for the release. The NRC maintains reports of all releases and spills in a national database.

Additional information on EPA's response structure: