The fact that most types of oil float on water allow it to be diverted, corralled and recovered. Floating barriers or “booms” can be deployed in the water to minimize environmental impact. Boom is expensive and difficult to handle and deploy.
Therefore the approach is to identify highly valued water resources such as drinking water intakes and animal habitats and develop specific response strategies to most effectively use the equipment. Equipment caches can then be staged near the identified resources for quicker deployment for the purpose of minimizing damage.
Nine equipment caches are strategically located along the Mississippi River between St. Paul, Minnesota and Prescott, Wisconsin. (Cache Map 2013) Another cache is located on the St. Croix River at Kinnickinnic State Park for a total of ten boom caches.
The caches consist of Conex-style freight boxes that contain boom and other equipment. The cooperative equipment is purchased by RSRC members and used to satisfy certain federal regulatory requirements per the Oil Pollution Act 1990. For that reason it is viewed as dedicated equipment and cannot be mobilized out of the area.