The department’s Environmental Emergency Response (EER) staff are the department’s front line of defense against hazardous substance releases, natural or man-made disasters and threats to homeland security. EER staff fulfill the department’s duties outlined under the Missouri Spill Bill, found in Missouri Revised Statutes sections 260.500 to 260.550, RSMo. EER staff are responsible for addressing any material released to land, water or atmosphere that may impact the environment and public health. For a printable brochure about the department's various EER services, review the department's Environmental Emergency Response - PUB0338 brochure.
24-Hour EER Spill Line
Under the Missouri Spill Bill, responsible parties or spillers are required to report hazardous substances releases to the department's 24-hour Environmental Emergency Response Spill Line at 573-634-2436, or the National Response Center at 800-424-8802. Duty officers staff the department's spill line 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The departments spill line provides a single answering point for local and state agencies to request state-level assistance for emergencies, serious accidents or incidents, or for reporting hazardous materials and petroleum spills. The duty officers:
- Provide technical assistance regarding necessary cleanup actions and chemicals.
- Work with the responsible party or spiller to make sure proper cleanup is completed.
- Work to make sure any impact to the public health and environment is minimized.
- Notify various agencies.
- Determine if an on-site response is needed by program staff.
The duty officer enters the details of each spill or incident into the department's Environmental Emergency Response Tracking Systems. The systems are a repository for information related to all hazardous substance emergencies and releases as far back as December 1993.
*If you witness a situation that does not pose an immediate threat to public health or the environment, but still threatens the environment, such as a trash dump or discarded waste tires in a stream, you can report your environmental concern either over the phone to the regional office in your area or online using our Report an Environmental Concern or Submit a Question form.
State On-Scene Coordinators
Duty officers dispatch EER's state on-scene coordinators when environmental emergencies occur. Some environmental emergencies that department staff respond to include the following:
- Natural disasters (tornado, fire, flood, etc.)
- Hazardous materials incidents, including roadway accidents
- Radiological incidents
- Aircraft accidents or incidents
- Pipeline leaks or breaks
- Substances released into the air
- Fish kills
- Mercury spills
- Homeland Security incidents
All state on-scene coordinators are certified hazardous material technicians. The state on-scene coordinators work from six locations in Missouri: Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Poplar Bluff, Macon and Springfield.
The department and local responding agencies may have legal authority to recover costs associated with responding to hazardous substance emergencies. The department's Hazardous Substance Emergency Response Cost Recovery Information - PUB2095 fact sheet can be used to assist local hazardous substance emergency responding agencies recover cleanup costs incurred during a hazardous substance emergency.