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Guidebook for Development of an Area Contingency Plan for Environmental Emergencies

Guidebook for Development of an Area Contingency Plan for Environmental Emergencies

The Bullet:

The US Environmental Protection Agency has created a guidebook for the creation of an Area Contingency Plan.  It is available for download as a PDF file from EPA’s Office of Emergency Management web site, or you may download the pdf of the Guidebook directly:  USEPA Area Contingency Planning Handbook, Volume 1.0


It was developed by EPA’s Area Planning Workgroup.


An Area Contingency Plan is a reference document prepared for the use of all agencies engaged in responding to environmental emergencies in a defined geographic area.


With the release of this ACP the EPA hopes to assist local and regional emergency planners to work within a standardized national format for area contingency planning.


Created during 2011 & 2012.  Released March of 2013.


Though primarily intended for use by EPA emergency response program personnel, the open publication of this ACP can serve other purposes, including:

  • To inform other agencies of EPA’s planning process.
  • To maintain a national consistency in the basic content of the ACP.

This Handbook is a guide and reference for the development of Area Contingency Plans (ACPs) for environmental emergencies.


A document such as this can be very helpful to someone who is responsible for emergency response planning over a regional, or even a local area, “Throughout this Handbook, the terms ‘Area Contingency Plan’ and ‘ACP’ also encompass the processes for developing and managing Sub-Area Plans and Geographic Response Plans, which have scopes more limited than the ACP itself.”

The stakeholders in an ACP will certainly include generators of hazardous waste and transporters of hazardous materials.  Contact me with questions about the training required for hazardous waste generators and HazMat Employers.