Discharge Cleanup Organization (DCO)
In order to ensure rapid and effective oil spill response, the Land Office Discharge Cleanup Organization (DCO) Program certifies private response contractors and organizations involved in the oil spill recovery industry as eligible for hire during an oil spill cleanup. Organizations exempt from the certification requirement (which may still be hired by the state) are those whose primary business activity is vacuum truck services, earth moving or oil field equipment maintenance.
Prior to being eligible for hire, a DCO must agree in advance with the charges for certain services the DCO may provide and quality standards for the work to be done. Once approved, the DCO is placed on a job rotation list for an equitable distribution of state-funded jobs.
To apply to become a DCO, download the Land Office certification packet which may be found on the Forms page.. This packet should be completed and returned along with a Spill Response Plan to the Land Office. An orientation/verification visit by a Land Office representative will take place within 60 days after acceptance of the application.
In 2005, House Bill 2096 granted the Texas Land Commissioner the authority to remove wrecked, derelict or substantially dismantled vessels or structures in Texas coastal waters. Removal of maritime debris promotes cleaner, safer water by eliminating oil sources and dangerous obstacles from waterways. Since 2005, the GLO has removed more than 900 vessels as well as structures such as the Zeus, an abandoned mobile offshore drilling unit that sat in the Freeport Ship Channel for 17 years.
The Oil Spill program also leads the highly successful Vessel Turn-In Program (VTIP). Establishing partnerships with coastal counties, state agencies and oil spill cleanup operators, VTIP creates opportunities for boat owners to relinquish derelict vessels at no cost to the owner. VTIP events in Galveston, Brazoria and Matagorda counties have resulted in 177 boats (3,001 linear feet) surrendered for salvage and 780 gallons of fuel safely disposed, including five 55 gallon drums of hydrocarbon waste. VTIP has resulted in a cost savings of more than $750,250.00.
Three additional VTIP opportunities are planned in 2017, including events Nueces and Cameron counties.