OSPR - Spill Management Teams

Spill management teams (SMT) provide personnel who fill incident command system (ICS) positions in an organization managing a spill response. Under the National Incident Management System (NIMS), oil spill responses are managed by a unified command with representation form federal, state, and local trustee agencies, as well as from the responsible party.

In 2017, California Assembly Bill 1197 amended the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act to mandate a certification program for SMTs representing contingency plan holders in California. AB 1197 required OSPR to adopt regulations (§ 830.1-830.11 (PDF)) establishing criteria for the number of people on a certified SMT, timeframes for personnel arrival, response objectives, and training qualifications. The regulations became effective on April 1, 2022.

Online Application, Guidance, and Training Modules

OSPR began accepting applications for SMT certification on April 1, 2022. In response to requests from the regulated community, OSPR has developed an online application system. You can access the online application, as well as job aids for Plan Holder and External applicants, using the links below. If you encounter issues with the online application, please contact OSPRSMT@wildlife.ca.gov.

Online SMT Certification Application(opens in new tab)

Online Application Job Aids

Online Application Training Videos

To further assist applicants in completing the online application for SMT certification, OSPR has produced a series of video training modules focusing on different parts of the plan holder and external SMT applications.

PDF Application Forms

Frequently Asked Questions

OSPR has created an FAQ to assist the regulated community. This is a living document, and we will continue to add questions and answers as the program implementation proceeds.

Mobilization and Training Plan Templates

OSPR has created optional templates that SMTs may use to submit required information. SMTs must submit a mobilization plan as part of their application describing the means by which personnel will arrive on-scene within the required timeframes in the geographic regions for which certification is requested. Additionally, SMTs that are still in need of training at the time of application must submit a training plan indicating which courses will be achieved during the three-year interim certification period. Links to the templates for these plans are provided below.

Requirements Guidance

We have created guidance documents to assist the regulated community in understanding and complying with the requirements.


Documentation of Certified SMT for Contingency Plans

Beginning on January 1, 2023, new contingency plans and renewal submissions must include documentation of a certified SMT. This document provides guidance on what type of documentation is required.

Waters of the State

This Waters of the State Guidance Document shows how to determine which type of surface waters of the state may be impacted by an inland facility's operations. Note, the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) described in this document underwent significant updates in September 2022, and this guidance document has been updated accordingly.

Certified External Spill Management Teams

The spreadsheet linked below lists the external SMTs who have been issued certifications under Title 14 CCR, §830.1-830.11, along with the Tiers, geographic regions, and ICS positions associated with the certifications. The spreadsheet includes contact information for hiring the certified SMTs during an emergency, as well as to retain their services in non-emergency circumstances. Contingency plan holders may only list these external SMTs in their plans if they have a contract or other approved agreement with the SMT.

Spill Management Team Regulations Rulemaking History

The rulemaking process was extended due to the additional review time granted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) by Governor Newsom’s Executive Orders N-40-20 (PDF)(opens in new tab) and N-71-20 (PDF)(opens in new tab), issued in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The formal rulemaking process began on July 31, 2020, when the proposed regulations were noticed to interested parties. The 45-day comment period, which ended on September 14, 2020, resulted in changes to the proposed regulations, and a 15-day comment period commenced on January 16, 2021. Following the 15-day comment period, the proposed regulations were amended once more and a second 15-day comment period commenced on February 26, 2021. The rulemaking package was submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on April 9, 2021. Following an initial review, OAL recommended changes to the text in some provisions to enhance clarity, and a 15-day comment period was held beginning on August 11, 2021. The final rulemaking package was submitted to OAL on September 15, 2021. OAL approved the regulations on December 28, 2021, and they were effective on April 1, 2022.

Summary of Updates to Proposed Regulations After Public Comment Periods

The public comments received during the first 15-day comment period resulted in updates to the regulations, which are summarized in the document Changes to the proposed regulations after the 15-day comment period (PDF)(opens in new tab). This document is not a comprehensive list of each change to the regulatory text. Instead, it focuses on adjustments and clarifications made in response to multiple comments. For changes made to the proposed regulations as proposed on July 31, 2020, see Changes to the proposed regulations after the 45-day comment period (PDF)(opens in new tab)

Preparedness Resources


Commonly Used Forms

Commonly Accessed Links