Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Emergency Response Overview

Report a Spill or Accident

To report a spill or accident involving oil, gas, hazardous materials, anthrax, or explosives, call 911 to activate Idaho's Emergency Response Network, which consists of state and local agencies (including designated DEQ regional office personnel), and, if necessary, federal agencies.


Emergency management activities in Idaho are coordinated by the Idaho Office of Emergency Management. As outlined in Executive Order No. 2010-09, the Bureau's duties are to:

  1. Coordinate state and federal emergency response, recovery and mitigation operations during emergencies and disasters. Provide technical support to local jurisdictions involved in local emergencies and disasters that do not require state resources.
  2. Establish and maintain the Idaho Emergency Operations Center for directing the coordination of emergency and disaster operations.
  3. Develop and coordinate the preparation and implementation of plans and programs for mitigation to prevent or reduce the harmful consequences of disasters in accordance with Section 46-1006(1), Idaho Code.
  4. Ensure state and local preparedness, response and recovery plans are consistent with national plans and programs. Ensure state agency plans are consistent with the State’s emergency management goals and procedures.
  5. Coordinate collaborative efforts with other state governments and federal agencies.
  6. Coordinate all requests from state and local governments for disaster emergency assistance.
  7. Coordinate the use of state emergency communications and warning systems. Develop, administer, and integrate the state Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) and other volunteer communications programs into a state system or network in accordance with Section 46-1013, Idaho Code.
  8. In coordination with the Governor’s Press Secretary and/or Communications Director, coordinate and administer the Public Information Emergency Response (PIER) Team program in support of state and local emergency and disaster public information preparedness, emergency evacuation, response and recovery objectives.
  9. Function as the State Administering Agency for the federal State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP). Ensure that Idaho meets national standards and criteria established by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.

DEQ's Role

The Governor's Executive Order requires each state agency to appoint at least one representative to train, exercise and participate in the State Emergency Management Program to facilitate emergency support and logistics in response to emergencies and disasters. In addition, each agency must develop and maintain an emergency operations plan to carry out the agency's response and recovery support functions and a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to address how the agency will provide essential services to citizens during response and recovery and return the agency to normal operations.

In the event of an emergency, DEQ's specific responsibilities are to:

  1. Assess supplies of potable water and coordinate portable water resources with other state agencies.
  2. Assess environmental impact of proposed emergency operations and suggest alternative methods or actions to minimize environmental damage.
  3. Idaho National Laboratory-Oversight Program (INL-OP):
    1. Provide overall technical support for mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities pertaining to radiological/nuclear health and safety issues.
    2. Support state and local efforts related to off-site radiological emergency planning at the INL.
    3. Serve as state liaison to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for radiological emergencies involving regulated materials and U.S. Department of Energy facilities and transportation activities.
    4. Provide radiation protection guidance, training, and information in support of state and local emergency responders.
    5. Conduct radiological monitoring and coordinate radiological sample analysis with Idaho State University.
    6. Maintain the INL Fixed Nuclear Facility Emergency Response Plan as an Annex to the Idaho Emergency Operations Plan.

In addition, as the state agency delegated responsibility for protecting public health and preserving the state's environment, DEQ is authorized to implement a host of other procedures to address health emergencies. For example, in the event of an air pollution emergency, DEQ is required by Sections 550-562 of the Rules for the Control of Air Pollution in Idaho, known as the Air Pollution Emergency Rule, to implement a series of increasingly stringent pollution control measures and to keep the public informed of efforts underway. DEQ also works closely with public water systems to assure that plans are in place to protect drinking water supplies and, in the event of contamination, keep the public informed.

Staff Contacts

Technical Services Division Administrator
Mark Dietrich
DEQ State Office
Technical Services Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0204

Related Pages

Air Pollution Emergencies

Emergency Preparedness for Public Water Systems

INL Oversight Program Emergency Preparedness Activities

What to Do If You Have a Mercury Spill