Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC)?
MSRC is the largest oil spill response company in the United States. It was founded in 1990 as a not for profit entity, solely funded by the Marine Preservation Association (MPA).
What services does MSRC provide?
MSRC can be activated for oil spill response and potentially other emergency response services. MSRC also provides plan citation for MPA member customers, through its classification as an Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) in U.S. Facility and Vessel, as well as some state response plans.
Who is eligible to cite MSRC in a response plan?
Companies, and their Affiliates, who are Members of the Marine Preservation Association (MPA) may cite MSRC in Vessel and Facility plans within MSRC's Operational Area, which includes the coastal area of the U.S. but excludes Alaska. These companies may also cite MSRC in Washington and California State contingency plans, as appropriate.
Who is eligible to activate MSRC during an oil spill or other emergency?
MSRC may be activated by Members of MPA to respond to an oil spill or other emergency. Additionally, MSRC has contracts with the U.S. Coast Guard and the States of California, which entitles them to activate MSRC in the event additional resources are required and under certain conditions. Non-MPA members may only request MSRC services for certain smaller releases, but must execute a Service Agreement and demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility as a condition of MSRC responding.
Where does MSRC receive its funding?
MSRC's sole funding source is the Marine Preservation Association (MPA). MPA is a not-for-profit membership organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. MPA Members include many of the world's largest integrated petroleum companies. These companies rely on MSRC, as the nation's largest and most well equipped oil spill response company.
Does MSRC provide Lightering, Salvage and Firefighting?
MSRC does not offer salvage and firefighting plan citation services. MSRC resources, such as its Oil Spill Response Barges (OSRBs) may be available to customers for emergency lightering operations in the event of grounding or other such incidents if no other barges are commercially available. These resources must be returned to MSRC clean and gas free. Unlike commercial barges, when not in use on a spill response, MSRC equipment is used for training activities. Typically these training activities require the barge piping systems to transport water that must be discharged overboard.
Does MSRC provide qualified individual and plan writing services?
MSRC does not provide qualified individual or plan writing services. There are a number of companies that offer this service in the U.S.
What kind of resources does MSRC have at its disposal?
MSRC maintains the following dedicated resources:
  • 14 Responder Class Oil Spill Response Vessels (OSRVs)
  • 23 other OSRVs
  • 8 PSV Response Packages
  • 14 Oil Spill Response Barges (OSRBs)
  • 5 Fast Response Vessels (FRVs)
  • 26 X-Band radar and/or infrared systems
  • 610,000 feet of boom
  • 298 Skimming systems
  • 68 Shallow Water Barges
  • 22,500 feet of fire boom
  • 4 Dedicated dispersant spray/spotter aircraft
  • 104,000 gallons of dispersant

Additional resources may be deployed from a network of more than 111 Spill Team Area Responders (STARs) contractors at over 190 locations nationwide.

Does MSRC help with other types of incidents, such as natural disasters and hazardous material spills?
When catastrophic hurricanes, floods or other incidents occur, MSRC personnel, equipment, crisis management systems and advanced telecommunications capabilities are available for service. MSRC is capable of responding to a hazardous materials spill on a case-by-case basis. MSRC would most likely call upon one of its STARs participants, many of which are qualified responders to hazardous material spills.
What makes MSRC the number one choice in spill response?
Capitalized at over $500 million, MSRC has more dedicated and owned resources than any other response company in the U.S. MSRC's over 400 dedicated personnel make the difference. Without the people to maintain, operate and manage such a vast inventory of resources, this capability would not be as valuable.
Can MSRC respond to any size oil spill?
Yes. MSRC's diverse resources for spill response allow it to respond to incidents both large and small, and in both nearshore or offshore environments. Additionally, MSRC maintains a dispersant services program through two dedicated C-130 and two dedicated King Air 90 aircraft that allow MSRC to quickly mobilize to spray dispersants, if authorized by the proper authorities. In-situ burn boom is located throughout the country and also available if required during a spill response.
Where does MSRC operate?

MSRC's area of responsibility includes all U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) zones on the U.S. East, West and Gulf Coasts, including the U.S. Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands (a total of 28 COTP zones). In addition, we are capable of providing spill response services in other areas which are not within MSRC's Operational Area. We offer services in the Oceans, Inland, and Rivers and Canals operating environments on the U.S. East, Gulf and West coasts, the U.S. Caribbean and the Hawaiian Islands.

While we are primarily concerned with handling emergencies on U.S. coastal shores and inland waterways, we are periodically asked to assist in spills in other parts of the world. MSRC may be called upon to provide personnel to help support spill response activities outside of U.S. waters on a case-by-case basis.

How does MSRC provide communications services during response or other emergency?
We maintain seven Emergency Communications Packages (ECP) that provide telephone and Internet connectivity via Ku-band satellite. Each ECP also includes a full complement of radio equipment including Marine, Aviation and VHF/UHF business band radios. These packages are well suited to support Command Center operations. MSRC also maintains Small Satellite Systems (SSS) that provide voice and Internet connectivity and are better suited for the small office environments.
What is the Marine Preservation Association and why do I need to join?

The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) was the catalyst for the creation of the Marine Preservation Association (MPA), for the sole purpose of addressing problems caused by oil spills on water. OPA 90 clearly mandates that anyone involved in the transportation, distribution or production of petroleum or petroleum products must contract for private resources. These resources must be referenced in a plan. By joining MPA, you can pre-contract for MSRC response resources, and can site MSRC in your response plans.

During an oil spill, time is of the essence! That is precisely why MPA was created and why MPA entirely funds MSRC, the nation's largest, most comprehensive, dedicated standby oil response program in the United States.

How do I become a member of MPA?
Membership is easy. Simply visit MPA's web site, click on How to join at the top, and fill out the brief membership submittal form. A membership packet will be sent to you as quickly as possible. Emergencies can occur at any time, anywhere. So join today!