Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response

Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response

MDE staff are always on call during the regular workweek and on weekends, holidays and after normal working hours, to ensure that all environmental emergencies are promptly addressed.  You may report any environmental emergency that poses an immediate threat to the public health or the well-being of the environment such as oil and chemical spills or accidents causing releases of pollutants by calling toll free (866) 633-4686.

For non-emergency environmental concerns or situations that you believe threatens the environment, such as a trash dump, discarded waste tires,  or colored water in a stream, please email the webmaster or call the relevant program listed at MDE's Numbers to Know.​

 

The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response focuses on planning for and responding to emergencies, such as hazardous material spills, natural disasters, nuclear power plant incidents, chemical fires, fish kills, and other environmental disasters. By thorough preparation, training, and expert response strategies, the Program protects the public and the environment anThe Program focuses on planning for and responding to emergencies, such as hazardous material spills, natural disasters, nuclear power plant incidents, chemical fires, fish kills, and other environmental disasters. By thorough preparation, training, and expert response strategies, the Program protects the public and the environment and minimizes the adverse effects of emergencies. minimizes the adverse effects of emergencies.

Every day in Maryland thousands of individuals work with substances which are portentially harmful to our environment. When proper care fails and accidents happen, the Maryland Department of the Environment's Emergency Response team is called into action as Maryland's frontline experts in hazardous materials spills, chemical fires and other environmental disasters. The MDE Response team is called to assist in instances which involve danger not only to the environment but to human health as well.

In the Hurricane Isabel aftermath, the Emergency Response team was deployed to contain and remove oil and chemical spills on land and in water all over the State. In April, 2000, a ruptured PEPCO pipeline at Chalk Point in Aquasco, MD caused over 111,000 gallons of oil to leak out into Patuxent River and nearby tributaries. MDE, using booms, helped contain the oil spill which contaminated a 10-mile (17 miles of shoreline) strip of the Patuxent River.

MDE is also mandated oversee the investigation of fish kill incidents throughout the state. MDE coordinates a multi-agency, statewide fish kill response program.  The presence of dead or distressed fish may indicate that a toxic substance has entered the waterway. For this reason, it is very important to quickly ascertain the facts, announce the findings, and institute corrective measures if practical.​​​​