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Geographic Response Plans (GRPs)

The Online Map-Viewer

An oil train derailment in Ripley

The Map-viewer puts all the information of the paper GRPs on an easy-to-use mapping screen that is available online and on your mobile device. It allows users to pan across New York State (NYS) and zoom into any county that is currently a part of the project to see the same data that is presented on the paper format.

Clicking on the symbols will open a dialog box that provides contact and resource information. An advantage to the online mapper is the ability to see important infrastructure and special receptors that fall a greater distance outside the 0.5-mile buffer of the railroad tracks. This is especially beneficial when used for incidents not specifically focused along the rail lines.

About GRPs

GRPs are map-based, location specific incident plans that provide guidance to first responders during the initial stages of incidents involving the transportation of petroleum. While geared towards petroleum response, GRPs are useful for a variety of hazards and emergencies. They have been used across the state for an assortment of accidents and incidents including tanker truck rollovers on major highways, large facility fires, and flooding events.

Designed as a one-page document, on-scene first responders can use information from the incident location and apply the GRPs to help with decision making and next response steps. They help to identify assets, infrastructure, or receptors around the incident location that may require special assistance, notification, or activation in an emergency situation.

Executive Order 125 directs New York State agencies to strengthen the state's preparedness for incidents involving the transportation of crude oil. In response, the DEC led a multi-stakeholder effort with the guidance of county and local responders and municipal workers to develop Inland GRPs.

GRP Imagery and Features

Map-view of the GRP Utica, Oneida County, Front
The map-view of the GRP

Front View

To the on-scene responders, the map displays:

  • Notable infrastructure;
  • Sensitive receptors;
  • Drainage pathways;
  • Response infrastructure
    • Hydrants
    • Drafting
    • ICP - Integrated Contingency Plan
    • Staging in the railroad area

A responder can locate where an accident has occurred on the map and then factor in variables such as:

  • The size of the spill;
  • Is a fire present or likely;
  • Is there any waterway drainage; and
  • What is the wind direction

This can help visualize who or what will likely be most impacted in the coming hours.

Back View

Back view of the GRP Utica
The back view of a GRP

On the backside of the GRP a general checklist shows:

  • Response considerations
  • List of agency and industry notification numbers
  • Area and rail access directions
  • Addresses for fire suppression resources
  • Berming resources
  • Water response strategies
  • County provided staging/ICP locations
  • Site and seasonal specific response considerations
  • Phone numbers for each sensitive receptor within 0.5 miles of the tracks

Department of Transportation (DOT) placards for petroleum products encountered on NYS railways are displayed along the bottom of the page.

NYS "Inland" GRPs

In the past, GRPs would typically focus on the transportation of oil by water. The New York State Inland GRPs focus on the movement of petroleum by rail corridors and the population centers that they run through. The program continues to grow and expand to include new counties and communities each year.

Main uses and concerns:

  • Protecting environmental resources
    • Wildlife
    • Sensitive habitats
  • Protecting human health and safety
  • Providing Notification and Physical Action Strategies
  • Multi-Hazard/Multi-Incident usefulness
  • Planning and Response tool for the initial hours on an incident; and
  • Usable and adaptable for planning, training, and drills

GRP Equipment Trailers and Training

GRP Equipment

The DEC has delivered 24 spill response trailers to counties across the State of New York to be used for emergency response scenarios. These trailers come stocked with common spill response equipment and are regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they are always at-the-ready for immediate use. Counties that are involved in the Geographic Response Plan Program are also offered yearly training opportunities on both the GRPs and the spills response trailers. Trainings that are provided include basic knowledge and understanding of the GRPs and trailer equipment, as well as an option for a scenario-based tabletop exercise to place the GRPs into action.

Contact Information

Questions about the Geographic Response Plans can be directed to