California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Oil Spill & Cleanup Agents

Government Code Section 8670.13.1 requires the Administrator of the Office of Spill Prevention and Response to license all oil spill cleanup agents for use in the waters of the State. An oil spill cleanup agent (OSCA) is defined as a chemical, or any other substance, used for removing, dispersing, or otherwise cleaning up oil or any residual products of petroleum in, or on, any waters of the state. This category of substances would include surface washing agents, dispersants, gelling agents, herding agents, emulsifiers-demulsifiers, chemical booms, sorbents and bioremediants. Within the Office of Spill Prevention and Response, the licensing of OSCAs is done within the Response Technologies Development Unit of the Scientific Branch.

All OSCAs licensed for use in California must still be approved for use on a case-by-case basis at the time of an oil spill incident. This mean that although a product can be used, it does not necessarily have to be used to address all circumstances. In addition to licensing in California, and OSCA must also be listed on the It is up to the discretion of the Unified Command to determine the appropriateness of any particular OSCA to address any particular situation and through formal request and approval of the Region IX Regional Response Team (RRT). Once the RRT grants approval, a product can be used.

Specific information on the licensing and use of oil spill cleanup agents in California can be found on this website. For more information, please refer to the quick list and links below.

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Contact Information

Ellen Faurot-Daniels
Phone: 831-649-2888

Web: Contact Web Editor

Page Last Updated: June 26, 2013