Don’t Delay Incident Report After Environmental Release

anne News

It pays to make incident reporting a top priority after spills involving hazardous materials, fuels or other regulated substances. Fines for failure to comply with reporting regulations within the stated timeframe can be costly. lnsurance companies do not pay fines and penalties arising from failure to report fines or for late reporting. That often comes as a surprise to carriers and other types of companies at risk from environmental spills.

Reportable quantities of spilled materials vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and spills often involve multiple jurisdictions, confusing the issue. When in doubt about whether a spill involves a reportable quantity, report it. Failure to file required reports can bring stiff fines and penalties, making it unwise to try to cover up a spill or even to delay reporting because many jurisdictions have extremely small windows of time in which reports must be made.

In Massachusetts, the reportable quantity of any spilled petroleum product is 10 gallons, and the DEP must be notified within two hours of the incident to avoid a citation. Other triggers include any release of oil causing a sheen on surface water, which is reportable to the Mass DEP and to the EPA in the National Response Center. The Mass DEP late-notification infraction carries a penalty of $11,500.

Any fleet can become a spill generator. The time to prepare for an environmental release is before it happens. Being prepared for environmental incidents – on the highway or at your facility – is the best way to contain costs and limit liability associated with spills. Fuel spills and other accidental releases of hazardous or regulated materials, even in small quantities, can turn into expensive incidents for the spill generator who is not adequately prepared to deal with them.

By aligning yourself with experts who are equipped to provide assistance when you need it most, you broaden your state of preparedness and help minimize your fleet’s spill-related costs and liability. Spill Center, for example, assists clients with custom spill contingency planning, makes cleanup contractor referrals, and handles all required regulatory reporting, incident screening, invoice auditing, and documentation of incidents. No fleet should ever have enough spills to get good at handling them.

We have developed a highly sophisticated nationwide spill reporting and documentation program, which is applied to the management of every incident that we handle for clients. We maintain a database of current regulations for nearly 30,000 federal, state, provincial and local jurisdictions throughout North America. We are experts at NRC, EPA, DOT, state, and local reports, and we can ensure that your reports are completed accurately and filed on time. Even if you’re comfortable filing your own reports, our online report generation tools can cut down on your paperwork.

Spill Center’s expertise in spill management and environmental claims handling has helped hundreds of clients in the transportation, chemical and insurance industries. You can count on us to help you get past spill incidents and avoid fines and penalties for non-compliance with reporting regulations. We know who to report the spill to.

Spill Center compliance associates include legal, technical and environmental specialists. They coordinate spill response and complete telephone and written reports for clients. They fill out more than 300 US DOT Incident Report Forms each month as part of Spill Center’s program of spill-related services for clients – more incident reports for clients than any other organization in the country.

For more information on our services and how to become a subscriber, call me directly at 978-568-1922, X222 or email me at tmoses@spillcenter.com. Also, complete information is on our website, where you can also register online. It’s at www.spillcenter.com. We look forward to hearing from you.