WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is proposing to amend requirements under the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) to improve the U.S.’s ability to plan for and respond to oil spills, according to a press release.

The proposal addresses issues brought up by the public, government, responders and industry officials during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, stated the release.

The release reported that in the proposed requirements, dispersant manufacturers will be able to use “a new, well-tested and peer-reviewed laboratory method for determining the effectiveness of their dispersant on two types of crude oils at two temperatures measured against proposed performance criteria.”

EPA is also proposing “an aquatic toxicity threshold” so products meeting both the performance and toxicity criteria will “offer greater performance at less environmental impact,” noted the release.

“Our emergency officials need the best available science and safety information to make informed spill response decisions when evaluating the use of specific products on oil discharges,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Our proposed amendments incorporate scientific advances and lessons learned from the application of spill-mitigating substances in response to oil discharges and will help ensure that the emergency planners and responders are well-equipped to protect human health and the environment.”

Read the entire release here.