It is the policy of CDFW's Law Enforcement Division that Wildlife Officers will provide an immediate response to not only oil spills, but also Hazmat incidents and other deleterious substances that threaten Waters of the State. OSPR Wildlife Officers are the primary response and investigatory enforcement personnel for all petroleum spills to marine and inland waters. During responses, Wildlife Officers will typically serve as the State On-Scene Coordinator to insure that the spill is remediated to minimize impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitat. Also, Wildlife Officers have the authority to enforce criminal and civil pollution statutes contained in a variety of California Codes. Wildlife Officers conduct investigations into the cause of the spill, collect evidence, coordinate with allied agencies, and prepare comprehensive reports submitted for prosecution. OSPR officers also contribute to spill prevention efforts through participation in drills and exercises and assisting other OSPR personnel with vessel and facility inspections.
OSPR maintains a 24 hour Communications Network utilizing the OSPR Spill Desk during business hours and CDFW dispatch for evenings and weekends. In 2014, the Communications Network received and vetted 7470 spill reports from the CA Office of Emergency Services. The network has the responsibility of notifying OSPR Wildlife Officers and other OSPR personnel of all petroleum spills which impact, or threaten to impact, marine and inland waters of the State. The dispatchers are also responsible for notifying district Wildlife Officers of Hazmat and deleterious substances which impact or threaten State Waters. During a spill, the Communications Network will communicate directly with the responding personnel. In the event of a major incident, they will also assist with communications between the OSPR Operations Center and response personnel. In addition to spill notifications, CDFW dispatchers also receive calls from the public, allied agencies and the Cal Tip line for a variety of resource violations and public safety wildlife issues and are responsible for notifying the appropriate CDFW personnel.