Responding to Environmental Emergencies

The DNREC Emergency Response Branch is responsible for responding to petroleum and hazardous materials incidents in the state. Incidents can range from transportation-related spills to major threats such as weapons of mass destruction.

Contact Us

Adam Kooker
State Emergency Prevention and Response Chief
391 Lukens Drive
New Castle, DE, 19720

Environmental Complaints and Emergency Response


DNREC’s Emergency Response Team

The DNREC Emergency Response Team (ERT) are the state’s designated first responders for environmental emergencies. They provide leadership and coordinate all necessary activities and communications.

The efforts of full-time on-scene coordinators (OSCs) are supported by a network of trained responders, all led by the State Emergency Prevention and Response Chief to maintain a statewide rapid, comprehensive, 24/7 response.

The Emergency Response Branch maintains multiple response vehicles, decontamination equipment, and response and spill containment trailers. These units contain equipment and materials that are necessary to respond to most environmental emergencies, such as:

  • Transportation-related incidents
  • Clandestine drug labs
  • Residential aboveground heating oil tank releases
  • Small mercury spills
  • Oil tanker spills in Delaware waters
  • Indoor air quality
  • Chemical railcar leaks
  • Abandonment of unidentified chemical drums
  • Leaking underground storage tanks (commercial and residential)
  • Chemical, petroleum, biological and radiological incidents in any media (air, land, surface and groundwater)
DNREC Emergency Response Vehicle

State Emergency Response Team

The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) is coordinated by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA). It responds to all types of emergencies in the State of Delaware, ranging from natural disasters to acts of terrorism and health emergencies such as pandemics.

The SERT is composed of numerous partners including the Delaware State Police, the Delaware State Fire School, the Division of Public Health, local and county government agencies and local fire companies.

For larger and more serious emergencies, federal partners such as the Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency may be involved along with response teams from neighboring states.