Emergency responders historically have not been provided with specialized training or assistance for spills and fires at oil field sites. This situation has lead to potential safety hazards for responders, and, in some cases, inappropriate response efforts have been made. Planning for emergency oil field incidents has been hampered by the sheer number of individual oil field sites. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, in conjunction with the Ohio oil and gas industry, conceived a multimedia program to provide training and resources to emergency responders for dealing with oil field emergencies and to provide better resources to response planners. Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne), through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Petroleum Technology Office, developed an innovative interactive web site that provides online information to emergency responders and response planners.

The web site consists of three modules that allow responders and planners to rapidly obtain information about well sites. The "Find a Well" module utilizes multiple graphical information system (GIS) layers and the Ohio Risk-Based Data Management System (RBDMS) database to allow users to identify well owner/operators, and well proximity to roads, streams, schools, and other important features. Using Argonne's Maps and Data (MaD) Java applet, users are able to download and interact with detailed maps by using standard web browsers. The web site also includes "Reporting" and "Resources" modules to provide information to users on the necessary reporting requirements following a spill or fire, as well as access to many other government and private resources for additional information.

The Ohio web site is considered to be a pilot project and can be modified for use in other states or for other purposes, such as Safe Drinking Water Act source water protection programs, for example. Depending on a user's needs, additional GIS data layers can be added to the system to provide more information.

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