Some Important Reminders For Handling Hazmat Spills

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Planning a spill anytime soon? Maybe you should be. Environmental spills of hazmat, diesel fuel and other regulated substances require fast action on the part of the spill generator to stop and contain the flow of the spillage, report the release to the proper authorities, clean it up and legally dispose of the contaminated soil and materials. Some important spill thought starters:

Onboard Spill Kit – Every truck should carry a spill kit. The driver can use it to stop or slow a leak and minimize damages to the environment. Stock and custom spill kits are available. Contained in a duffel bag, the kit should include personal protective gear, plugs of different sizes, a trenching shovel, a roll of caution tape. Diesel spill kits include sorbent oil pads and booms to soak up spilled fuel. An instant-open container resembling a child’s inflatable swimming pool can hold the contents of two 100-gallon saddle tanks to avoid a nasty spill.

Required Reporting – Some jurisdictions have a very short timeframe to report (as short as one hour after a spill), which means you should make all required reports by telephone as soon as possible. Spills can involve several jurisdictions that require reports. Knowing who requires them and by when is the key to avoiding fines and penalties for failure to comply. Not all spills are of a reportable quantity, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. When in doubt, report! Inform the regulatory authorities about the proximity of a waterway or storm sewer.

Keep Written Record – The driver should log all actions taken after a spill. That written record can be used to place the company and driver in a legally defensible position. Documentation is critical to avoid being drawn into a pre-existing contamination problem as a responsible party. Being able to show that your release was separate in time, separate in nature and was the subject of a separate and complete response and remediation will go a long way toward a successful defense.

Sign On With Spill Center – Nearly 30,000 federal, state/provincial and local jurisdictions throughout North America require incident reports from spill generators. Many companies that are at risk for environmental releases and other pollution events have registered with a third-party such as Spill Center to manage spills and handle reporting. Spill Center maintains a database of current reporting requirements and contacts and can immediately determine who needs reports. And can complete them for you. We’re on the job 24/7 every day of the year. By aligning yourself with an expert who is equipped to provide assistance when you need it most, you broaden your state of preparedness and help minimize your spill-related costs and potential liability. Find us at www.spillcenter.com.

Cleanup Contractors – Spill Center has listings of more than 3,000 environmental cleanup contractors who are qualified to handle hazmat and other spills. Our compliance associates are experienced in managing the cleanup operation and keeping your company informed about it in real time every step of the way.

Follow-up Reports – Once the cleanup is complete and the contaminated materials are hauled off to a legally approved dump site and the remediation work finished, a Spill Center compliance associate will fill out the required follow-up paperwork and file it with the appropriate authorities. Your company will also receive documentation detailing the work done by Spill Center on your behalf designed to help keep you as the spill generator in a legally defensible position.

Invoice Auditing – When invoices start coming in from the cleanup contractor, emergency responders seeking reimbursement and others who might have provided spill-related services, you need an expert to make sure that you don’t pay more than is required of you by law or that is fair. Spill Center’s professional invoice auditing service is available to check all invoices for accuracy, fairness according to local standards and are legally reimbursable. We negotiate down inflated invoices.

Wallet cards and dashboard stickers with Spill Center contact information are available at no charge to remind drivers to call Spill Center First. We will alert the people in your company who need to know about the spill and coordinate the response with them. Spill Center’s expertise in spill management and environmental claims handling has helped hundreds of clients in the transportation, chemical and insurance industries. They count on us to help get past spill incidents and avoid fines and penalties for non-compliance with reporting regulations. We know who needs reports and by when.

The Spill Center program helps clients deal with environmental releases swiftly and thoroughly to avoid trouble with regulatory authorities. Spill Center Compliance Associates are on call 24/7, every day of the year. 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.

Spill Center’s expertise includes:

  • Environmental regulatory compliance
  • Emergency spill response management and documentation
  • Claims resolution, negotiation and settlement

This information is provided by Tom Moses, president of Spill Centerâ„¢, a company he founded in 1990 as a North American resource for companies at risk from hazardous materials releases. He holds a law degree and a certificate in Hazardous Materials Control and Emergency Response, and he served as a U.S. EPA toxicologist. Tom is considered a leading authority on environmental regulations and compliance issues in the chemical transportation industry. His expertise includes chemical security; environmental/safety regulatory compliance; crisis response management; and environmental claims resolution, negotiation and settlement.

As the leading and most trusted Environmental Claims Management Company in North America, Spill Center helps fixed-facilities, shippers, transporters, chemical companies and insurers control costs and limit liability arising from accidental releases of HAZMAT, diesel fuel and other regulated materials.

For more information, visit the Spill Center website at www.spillcenter.com or contact Tom by phone at 978-568-1922. Email him at tmoses@spillcenter.com.