Samoa (America)

Spill Notification Point

United States Coast Guard
Marine Safety Detachment
PO Box 249,
Pago Pago 96799

Tel: +684-633 2299 or +684-733 1223 (24hr)

Competent National Authority

Details as above.

Response Arrangements

In the event of an incident, one of the following three agencies would set up an Incident Command Center and initiate the response effort: the Responsible Party/Parties, the Office of Petroleum Management, American Samoa Government, the Federal Representation (United States Coastguard and Environmental Protection Agency).  The Incident Commander would be from one of these three agencies.  Local oil companies, other departments of the ASG, the Clean Island Council (CIC) and the Marine Spill Response Corporation may also be involved in the response operation.

For contingency planning purposes American Samoa is included, together with other US Pacific islands, in the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) Honolulu Area Contingency Plan of 1993. This is a coastal zone plan extending to the outer edge of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The organisation for spill response is based on the National Response System which incorporates the Unified Incident Command (UIC) concept. Thus the On Scene Coordinator has ultimate authority and will exert it if other members of the UIC are not present or are unable to reach consensus within a reasonable timeframe.

The Oceania Regional Response Team (RRT) is comprised of representatives of the key agencies, including the US Coast Guard and EPA. The Oceania RRT can be activated by its members or by the OSC and determines, as necessary, the specific policy for pollution response actions in each incident. Wildlife rehabilitation would involve the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Samoa is a member of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and party to the SPREP Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Pollution Emergencies in the South Pacific, which provides the legal framework through which marine spill contingency planning is addressed.  SPREP has prepared PACPOL, the Pacific Ocean Pollution Prevention Programme, which has drafted the Pacific Islands Regional Marine Spill Contingency Plan (PACPLAN).  This was endorsed by Members in September 2000 as the regional framework through which the SPREP Pollution Emergencies Protocol would be operationalised.  

Response Policy

In line with the usual practice in the United States, there is a preference for physical containment and recovery of spilled oil, and dispersant use is avoided as far as possible. Modest quantities of collected oily waste material can be disposed of at a landfill site or the municipal waste dump near the airport. Large amounts of such material would have to be shipped out for disposal in Hawaii or mainland US.



The USCG holds limited amounts of boom. The Department of Public Safety has several small vessels and crew available. In the event of a major incident the response capabilities in American Samoa would be quickly exhausted. The extensive resources of the organisations identified in the FOSC Honolulu Area Contingency Plan would be requested. 


BHP Petroleum have a stock of containment and recovery equipment at their Pago Pago terminal and in addition have retainer contracts for the use of a large fishing vessel for deployment of this equipment. This vessel carries a small helicopter. Additionally, the Harbour Refuse & Environmental Service has a stock of pumps, portable storage tanks and vacuum trucks that could be requested as required.

Small aircraft for surveillance purposes are available from private operators

Previous Spill Experience

The last significant spill in this area involved a pipeline break releasing approximately 7,000 gallons of diesel in Pago Pago Harbour in 1972. 


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force 

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • Noumea Convention (with states of the South Pacific Region).

Date of issue: February 2013

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