National Contingency Plan (NCP) Subpart J – Product Schedule
Subpart J of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) directs EPA to prepare a schedule of dispersants, other chemicals, and oil spill mitigating devices and substances that may be used to remove or control oil discharges.
NCP Product Schedule
EPA maintains the NCP Product Schedule, which lists the following types of products that are authorized for use on oil discharges:
- Surface washing agents
- Surface collecting agents
- Bioremediation agents
- Miscellaneous oil spill control agents
Note: Sorbents are defined in the National Contingency Plan Subpart J, but the regulation does not require their inclusion on the NCP Product Schedule if they meet the regulatory definition. Manufacturers may write a letter with Confidential Business Information (CBI) to EPA and receive an official letter stating that their product meets the regulatory definition of a sorbent. This letter can be shared with the Federal On-Scene Coordinator of an oil spill to verify the sorbent composition. Chemical sorbents are classified as Miscellaneous Oil Spill Control Agents (MOSCA) on the NCP Product Schedule. Sorbents must always be removed from oil spills and be disposed of properly.
NCP Product Schedule Technical Notebook
The NCP Product Schedule Technical Notebook (October 2008) (PDF) (203 pp, 957K, About PDF) presents summary information on the conditions under which each of the products may be used. Information may provide handling and worker precautions, storage information, recommended application procedures, physical properties, and toxicity, effectiveness, or other analyses.
How to List a New Product on the NCP Product Schedule
There is an established process that manufacturers must follow to have a product listed on the NCP Product Schedule.
Bioremediation agents means microbiological cultures, enzyme additives, or nutrient additives that are deliberately introduced into an oil discharge and that will significantly increase the rate of biodegradation to mitigate the effects of the discharge.
Dispersants means those chemical agents that emulsify, disperse, or solubilize oil into the water column or promote the surface spreading of oil slicks to facilitate dispersal of the oil into the water column.
[Note: Sorbents are characterized in the National Contingency Plan Subpart J, but the regulation does not require their inclusion in the NCP Product Schedule. Manufacturers may submit a letter with Confidential Business Information (CBI) to EPA and receive a letter stating that their product meets the regulatory definition of a sorbent.]
Sorbents means essentially inert and insoluble materials that are used to remove oil and hazardous substances from water through adsorption, in which the oil or hazardous substance is attracted to the sorbent surface and then adheres to it, absorption, in which the oil or hazardous substance penetrates the pores of the sorbent material, or a combination of the two. Sorbents are generally manufactured in particulate form for spreading over an oil slick or as sheets, rolls, pillows, or booms. The sorbent material may consist of, but is not limited to, the following materials:
Organic products —
1) Peat moss;
2) Cellulose fibers or cork;
3) Corn cobs; or straw
4) Chicken or duck feathers;
Mineral compounds —
1) Volcanic ash or perlite;
2) Vermiculite or zeolite;
Synthetic products —
Surface Collecting Agents
Surface collecting agents means those chemical agents that form a surface film to control the layer thickness of oil.
Surface Washing Agents
Surface washing agent is any product that removes oil from solid surfaces, such as beaches and rocks, through a detergency mechanism and does not involve dispersing or solubilizing the oil into the water column.
Miscellaneous Oil Spill Control Agents
Miscellaneous oil spill control agent is any product, other than a dispersant, sinking agent, surface collecting agent, bioremediation agent, burning agent, or sorbent that can be used to enhance oil spill cleanup, removal, treatment, or mitigation.