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Privacy Policy

We welcome you as a visitor to the IncidentNews website, a public service provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Response and Restoration.

This policy explains how we handle information we learn about you during your visit. Please be assured that the privacy of our visitors is of utmost importance to us. We do not collect personal information that would allow us to identify you by name or contact you directly (such as your email address), unless you choose to provide that information to us.

Note: This privacy policy only applies to this website. If you follow any off-site link on this site to another website, you are encouraged to review its privacy policy to determine if it has other information collection practices. (The IncidentNews website includes links to other websites for your convenience, but this does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the IncidentNews developers--nor is it a guarantee of the validity of the information provided on those sites.)

General Information Collected and Stored Automatically

If you use this site, we will automatically collect and store some general information about your visit; this information does not identify you personally.

Examples of the general information collected during a visit:

  • Date and time
  • Internet domain (for example, "" if you use a private Internet access account or "" if you connect from a university's domain)
  • IP address from which you access our site (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the web)
  • Type of browser and operating system used (if provided by the browser)
  • URL of the referring page (if provided by the browser)
  • Pages visited
  • Search terms and results
  • Number of newsfeed subscribers

We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors; for example, to learn how people visit the pages on our site, to find out which pages are of most interest to visitors, and to identify problems people are encountering on our site.

These general information logs may be preserved indefinitely to assist with site management.

Personal Information That You Voluntarily Provide by Email

We do not collect personally identifiable information (such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, or addresses) unless you choose to provide it to us. If you send us an email, we use your information to respond to your request. Additionally, we may save your message in an email archive, which we use for site management purposes (for example, it is useful to see how many people asked a particular question).

We may share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit.

By sending us personal information, you are giving consent for us to use the information for the stated purpose. We do not use information about you in any other ways (such as commercial marketing).

Interaction with Children

The content on this website is intended for people interested in current and past oil spill response, and it is not specifically provided for children--although the Spill Science section provides some off-site links that may be useful for teachers and students. If a child visits our site, no personally identifiable information is collected from them unless voluntarily submitted (via email) as a request for information. The information collected is used as described in the section above.


"Cookies" are small bits of text that are either used for the duration of a session ("session cookies") or saved on a user's hard drive in order to identify that user--or information about that user--the next time the user logs on to a website ("persistent cookies").

This website does not use persistent cookies except for Google Analytics discussed below, and it does not use any other persistent tracking technology. We use session cookies for site navigation but the cookies are deleted from the server after your visit ends, and information from the cookies is not collected or saved.

Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics, a third-party web measurement and customization technology as defined and organized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), "Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies" (OMB M-10-22). Google Analytics uses a cookie to recognize your computer if you visit this site again in the future. This cookie does not collect personal identifying information. This is considered a Tier 2 service in the OMB guidance.

Google Analytics does not collect personally identifiable information through their cookie and does not combine, match, or cross-reference this website information with any other information. Please review the provider’s privacy policy for additional information,

Visitors who choose to disable this web measurement will still have full access to this website. While the details vary from browser to browsers, most modern browsers can be set up to accept, reject, or request user intervention when a site asks to set a cookie. Google Analytics uses a cookie that begins with: _utm

Site Abuse

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. If such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, such evidence may be provided to appropriate law enforcement officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this server are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act or other law.