NRC is approved by Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) as a Primary Response Contractor (PRC) meeting Washington State oil spill response contingency planning regulations. The NRC Covered Vessels Washington State Contingency Plan (NRC Plan) has been approved by Ecology for coverage of oil spills and threatened oil spills pursuant to direct contracts between NRC and owners, operators and/or agents (Covered Vessels) as provided for by WAC 173-182-110.

The NRC Plan provides Covered Vessels with response planning, emergency communications, spill management and drill and exercise services, as well as the spill response capabilities required for complete compliance with Washington State contingency planning requirements. The NRC Plan is also designed for the use and information of owners, operators, demise charterers, agents, and supplementary spill management personnel during spills by Covered Vessels.

The area of coverage for the NRC Plan is within the navigable waters of the State of Washington (as defined by WAC 317-05-020 (10)) with the exception of the Columbia River system. In the event of an oil spill or threat of oil spill, the Covered Vessel is required by Washington State regulations to take immediate action to protect life and property, and notify proper authorities. This includes, for example, personnel safety, preventing further damage, protecting wildlife resources, cleaning up the spill, and restoring the environment.

The NRC Plan will assist the Covered Vessel in executing these functions by providing an emergency notification network and response services including pre-positioned equipment and personnel dedicated to immediate response, i.e., within two hours of notification -- given suitable safety conditions. When a spill occurs from a Covered Vessel, the NRC Plan provides for the prompt, safe and efficient containment, recovery, cleanup / restoration and interim disposal of all oil and oily debris.

The NRC Plan also provides the Covered Vessel with a Spill Management Team (SMT) located within Washington State to ensure rapid on-scene response. Covered Vessels will also designate their own Qualified Individual when contracting for NRC Plan coverage to coordinate response with the SMT Incident Commander (IC). In the event of a spill, the NRC Plan SMT members will work with the QI to ensure a smooth transition from the NRC Plan SMT to Covered Vessel designated QI SMT as needed.