• Coast
  • Oil Spill


Discharge Cleanup Organization (DCO)

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.

Prior to being eligible for hire, a DCO must agree in advance with the charges for 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.

Entities having federal Oil Spill Response Organization (OSRO) classification may be certified by the GLO as a DCO with proof of OSRO classification.  Organizations exempt from DCO certification requirements but still eligible for state hire are entities whose primary business activity is vacuum truck services, earth moving or oil field equipment maintenance. 

To apply to become a DCO, download the Land Office certification packet located on the Forms page.  The packet should be completed and returned along with a Spill Response Plan to the appropriate Oil Spill regional office. An orientation/verification visit by a Land Office representative will take place within 60 days after acceptance of the application.

Vessel Removal

The Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act (OSPRA) authorizes the Texas General Land Office (TGLO) to remove and dispose of abandoned and derelict vessels in Texas coastal waters. Since the program’s tracking efforts began, Oil Spill staff have facilitated and tracked the removal of more than 1,550 derelict vessels using administrative authority, program response equipment and personnel and by coordinating efforts and resources for contracted removals.

One-time state funding approved by the 86th Legislature also provided additional support, allowing for the phased removal of 107 derelict vessels all along the Texas coast during 2020-2021. An additional 22 vessels were removed during the spring of 2023.

The Oil Spill program leads the highly successful Vessel Turn-In Program (VTIP). Establishing partnerships with coastal counties, cities, state agencies and oil spill cleanup operators, VTIP creates opportunities for boat owners to relinquish derelict vessels at no cost to the owner. The General Land Office Oil Spill Program sponsors coastal county Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP) events from October 1 - May 31.

Since VTIP’s inception, the TGLO has coordinated 36 events in Galveston, Brazoria, Calhoun, Aransas, Matagorda, Orange, Harris and Jefferson counties as well as the cities of Corpus Christi, Galveston, Port Isabel and Ingleside. VTIP partnerships have resulted in 1,441 boats and 104 trailers surrendered for salvage and 2,433 gallons of fuel safely disposed, including five 55-gallon drums of hydrocarbon waste. Representing the removal of more than 23,348 linear vessel feet, VTIP demonstrates a projected cost savings of $11.6 million for state and local governments.

Oil Spill staff continuously work to develop partnerships and coordinate efforts in every county in the program’s jurisdiction. For more information on upcoming VTIP events, contact your area Oil Spill Regional Office.