The state legislature created the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO) in 1991. LOSCO serves as the single point of contact for programs related to oil spills in Louisiana. LOSCO’s mission is to minimize unauthorized discharges of oil, provide for an effective spill response, compensate the public for damages to the state’s natural resources and services, and assist the public through education, service, and public outreach. LOSCO is funded through a per-barrel fee on crude oil received by refineries for storage or processing.
In carrying out its mission, LOSCO:
- Coordinates the state’s oil spill response efforts and works closely with the appropriate federal agencies during oil spill events to ensure cleanups are properly completed;
- Works with state, federal, and industry partners to develop regional and area oil spill contingency planning tools, including alternative response technologies;
- Assists in planning, trains for, and participates in oil spill drills, some of which are conducted as table top exercises, and some of which require companies and federal, state and local government agencies to send employees and equipment into the field;
- Serves as the Lead Administrative Trustee (LAT) for the state trustees in Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDAs) undertaken as a result of oil spills in Louisiana; as such, LOSCO coordinates NRDA activities of the state trustees and maintains the associated Administrative Records (AR);
- Maintains the Louisiana Oil Spill Management System (LOSMS), a public database with up to date information on oil spill response and NRDAs, LOSCO managed NRDA restoration funds, restoration project submittal, and outreach;
- Administers the Louisiana Regional Restoration Planning Program (RRP Program), which identifies the statewide Program structure, decision making process, and criteria used to assist the NRDA trustees in selecting restoration projects to be implemented to compensate the public for the natural resources and services injured by a given oil spill; and
- Sponsors and/or attends professional training courses, conferences, symposiums, workshops, trade fairs, and festivals.