How to Report a Hazardous Substance Release or Oil Spill

Reporting a hazardous substance release or oil spill takes only a few minutes. To report a release or spill, contact the federal government's centralized reporting center, the National Response Center (NRC), at 1-800-424-8802. The NRC is staffed 24 hours a day by personnel who will ask you to provide as much information about the incident as possible. Please include the following:

  • Your name, location, organization, and telephone number
  • Name and address of the party responsible for the incident
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Location of the incident
  • Source and cause of the release or spill
  • Types of material(s) released or spilled
  • Quantity of materials released or spilled
  • Medium (e.g. land, water) affected by release or spill
  • Danger or threat posed by the release or spill
  • Number and types of injuries or fatalities (if any)
  • Weather conditions at the incident location
  • Name of the carrier or vessel, the railcar/truck number, or other indentifying information
  • Whether an evacuation has occurred
  • Other agencies notified or about to be notified
  • Any other information that may help emergency personnel respond to the incident

If reporting directly to the NRC is not possible, reports also can be made to the EPA Regional office or the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in the area where the incident occurred. In general, EPA should be contacted if the incident involves a release to inland areas or inland waters. The U.S. Coast Guard should be contacted for releases to coastal waters, the Great Lakes, ports and harbors, or the Mississippi River. EPA or the U.S. Coast Guard will relay release and spill reports to the NRC promptly.

For more information, please see: Reporting Spills and Environmental Violations