National planning and coordination is accomplished through the NRT.
(a) The NRT consists of representatives from the agencies named in § 300.175(b). Each agency shall designate a member to the team and sufficient alternates to ensure representation, as agency resources permit. The NRT will consider requests for membership on the NRT from other agencies. Other agencies may request membership by forwarding such requests to the chair of the NRT.
(b) The chair of the NRT shall be the representative of EPA and the vice chair shall be the representative of the USCG, with the exception of periods of activation because of response action. During activation, the chair shall be the member agency providing the OSC/RPM. The vice chair shall maintain records of NRT activities along with national, regional, and area plans for response actions.
(c) While the NRT desires to achieve a consensus on all matters brought before it, certain matters may prove unresolvable by this means. In such cases, each agency serving as a participating agency on the NRT may be accorded one vote in NRT proceedings.
(d) The NRT may establish such bylaws and committees as it deems appropriate to further the purposes for which it is established.
(e) The NRT shall evaluate methods of responding to discharges or releases; shall recommend any changes needed in the response organization; and shall recommend to the Administrator of EPA changes to the NCP designed to improve the effectiveness of the national response system, including drafting of regulatory language.
(f) The NRT shall provide policy and program direction to the RRTs.
(g) The NRT may consider and make recommendations to appropriate agencies on the training, equipping, and protection of response teams and necessary research, development, demonstration, and evaluation to improve response capabilities.
(h) Direct planning and preparedness responsibilities of the NRT include:
(1) Maintaining national preparedness to respond to a major discharge of oil or release of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant that is beyond regional capabilities;
(2) Publishing guidance documents for preparation and implementation of SARA Title III local emergency response plans;
(3) Monitoring incoming reports from all RRTs and activating for a response action, when necessary;
(4) Coordinating a national program to assist member agencies in preparedness planning and response, and enhancing coordination of member agency preparedness programs;
(5) Developing procedures, in coordination with the NSFCC, as appropriate, to ensure the coordination of federal, state, and local governments, and private response to oil discharges and releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants;
(6) Monitoring response-related research and development, testing, and evaluation activities of NRT agencies to enhance coordination, avoid duplication of effort, and facilitate research in support of response activities;
(7) Developing recommendations for response training and for enhancing the coordination of available resources among agencies with training responsibilities under the NCP;
(8) Reviewing regional responses to oil discharges and hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant releases, including an evaluation of equipment readiness and coordination among responsible public agencies and private organizations; and
(9) Assisting in developing a national exercise program, in coordination with the NSFCC, to ensure preparedness and coordination nationwide.
(i) The NRT will consider matters referred to it for advice or resolution by an RRT.
(j) The NRT should be activated as an emergency response team:
(1) When an oil discharge or hazardous substance release:
(i) Exceeds the response capability of the region in which it occurs;
(ii) Transects regional boundaries; or
(iii) Involves a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States or the environment, substantial amounts of property, or substantial threats to natural resources;
(2) If requested by any NRT member.
(k) When activated for a response action, the NRT shall meet at the call of the chair and may:
(1) Monitor and evaluate reports from the OSC/RPM and recommend to the OSC/RPM, through the RRT, actions to combat the discharge or release;
(2) Request other federal, state, and local governments, or private agencies, to provide resources under their existing authorities to combat a discharge or release, or to monitor response operations; and
(3) Coordinate the supply of equipment, personnel, or technical advice to the affected region from other regions or districts.