California Government Code

Sec. § 8670.7


The administrator, subject to the Governor, has the primary authority to direct prevention, removal, abatement, response, containment, and cleanup efforts with regard to all aspects of any oil spill in waters of the state, in accordance with any applicable facility or vessel contingency plan and the California oil spill contingency plan. The administrator shall cooperate with any federal on-scene coordinator, as specified in the National Contingency Plan.


The administrator shall implement the California oil spill contingency plan, required pursuant to Section 8574.1, to the fullest extent possible.


The administrator shall do both of the following:


Be present at the location of any oil spill of more than 100,000 gallons in waters of the state, as soon as possible after notice of the discharge.


Ensure that persons trained in oil spill response and cleanup, whether employed by the responsible party, the state, or another private or public person or entity, are onsite to respond to, contain, and clean up any oil spill in waters of the state, as soon as possible after notice of the discharge.


Throughout the response and cleanup process, the administrator shall apprise the air quality management district or air pollution control district having jurisdiction over the area in which the oil spill occurred and the local government agencies that are affected by the spill.


The administrator, with the assistance, as needed, of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Public Utilities Commission, the State Lands Commission, or other state agency, and the federal on-scene coordinator, shall determine the cause and amount of the discharge.


The administrator shall have the state authority over the use of all response methods, including, but not limited to, in situ burning, dispersants, and any oil spill cleanup agents in connection with an oil discharge. The administrator shall consult with the federal on-scene coordinator prior to exercising authority under this subdivision.


(1)The administrator shall conduct workshops, consistent with the intent of this chapter, with the participation of appropriate local, state, and federal agencies, including the State Air Resources Board, air pollution control and air quality management districts, and affected private organizations, on the subject of oil spill response technologies, including in situ burning. The workshops shall review the latest research and findings regarding the efficacy and toxicity of oil spill cleanup agents and other technologies, their potential public health and safety and environmental impacts, and any other relevant factors concerning their use in oil spill response. In conducting these workshops, the administrator shall solicit the views of all participating parties concerning the use of these technologies, with particular attention to any special considerations that apply to coastal areas and waters of the state.


The administrator shall publish guidelines and conduct periodic reviews of the policies, procedures, and parameters for the use of in situ burning, which may be implemented in the event of an oil spill.


(1)The administrator shall ensure that, as part of the response to any significant spill, biologists or other personnel are present and provided any support and funding necessary and appropriate for the assessment of damages to natural resources and for the collection of data and other evidence that may help in determining and recovering damages.


(A)The administrator shall coordinate all actions required by state or local agencies to assess injury to, and provide full mitigation for injury to, or to restore, rehabilitate, or replace, natural resources, including wildlife, fisheries, wildlife or fisheries habitat, beaches, and coastal areas, that are damaged by an oil spill. For purposes of this subparagraph, “actions required by state or local agencies” include, but are not limited to, actions required by state trustees under Section 1006 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. Sec. 2706) and actions required pursuant to Section 8670.61.5.


The responsible party shall be liable for all coordination costs incurred by the administrator.


This subdivision does not give the administrator any authority to administer state or local laws or to limit the authority of another state or local agency to implement and enforce state or local laws under its jurisdiction, nor does this subdivision limit the authority or duties of the administrator under this chapter or limit the authority of an agency to enforce existing permits or permit conditions.


(1)The administrator shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the executive director of the State Water Resources Control Board, acting for the State Water Resources Control Board and the California regional water quality control boards, and with the approval of the State Water Resources Control Board, to address discharges, other than dispersants, that are incidental to, or directly associated with, the response, containment, and cleanup of an existing or threatened oil spill conducted pursuant to this chapter.


The memorandum of understanding entered into pursuant to paragraph (1) shall address any permits, requirements, or authorizations that are required for the specified discharges. The memorandum of understanding shall be consistent with requirements that protect state water quality and beneficial uses and with any applicable provisions of the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code) or the federal Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et seq.), and shall expedite efficient oil spill response.

Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016