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Frequently Asked Questions

How should departments notify MassDEP if their oil spill trailer is used? 


     Anytime a community's trailer is used to respond to a spill,
contact MassDEP's 24 hr spill line at 1-888-304-1133

Contacting MassDEP's spill line will connect the caller to MassDEP's Emergency Response (ER) personnel who have extensive experience in responding to releases of oil and hazardous materials and ensuring adequate response actions are taken to contain and mitigate a spill. In addition, ER personnel can activate a state-funded contractor if needed. If a responsible party is not identified or not able to take appropriate response actions, MassDEP can task its contractors with deploying, tending and deconning boom, disposing of impacted media such as sorbent boom and pads, as well as other response actions.

     Following an incident (and notification to the spill line above), MassDEP will restock supplies used during an incident. For restocking needs or if there is an issue with the trailer (flat tire, etc.), please contact the 24-hr spill line or MassDEP's Julie Hutcheson at 617-366-7424 or

How are participating departments compensated for backfill and overtime after an exercise? 


     Backfill and overtime (BF/OT) funding for the majority of participating first responders will come directly from MassDEP's Oil Spill Prevention and Response Fund. Funding is capped at $2,500 maximum per town. The BF/OT package can be downloaded by clicking here. Instructions for submitting the BF/OT package can be accessed here.

What can departments expect from oil spill trailer maintenance and inspections? 


     MassDEP has agreed to provide routine maintenance on the trailer and equipment and to restock those consumable items that have been used during the response to an oil spill. On an annual basis, the MassDEP, through its contractor Moran Environmental Recovery, will inspect the trailer and its contents and conduct an equipment inventory. As part of this annual inventory, consumable and non-consumable items will be replaced to restore the trailer to its original inventory. If a major event occurs during the year that results in the use of consumable items in quantities that replacement is required prior to the annual inspection, please follow the above notification procedure, and MassDEP will arrange to replace or restock the equipment as soon as possible.

     It is requested that each community inspect the interior and exterior of the oil spill response trailer periodically during the year and to report to MassDEP any damage, vandalism, or maintenance issues identified. It is also the responsibility of each community to store the unit in a secure location and to limit access to authorized individuals. To assist MassDEP in the accurate tracking and maintenance, please provide updated information if the trailer is moved to a new storage location or if the town's point of contact changes.


For more information on MassDEP oil spill response trailers, equipment, and training, visit the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup website.

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