Emergency Spill Response and Prevention Planning


Businesses that store, manufacture, transport or handle petroleum products, dangerous goods, hazardous wastes, or hazardous chemicals should prepare a response (contingency) plan to address potential accidental releases of these substances into the environment. The plan allows owners, carriers and operators to implement timely and effective responses during environmental emergencies.

emergency spill responseSpilled materials that threaten human health and the environmental quality of water, land or air must be reported. Possible threats include oil products, hazardous materials, toxic chemicals, sewage, dangerous goods and even high concentrations of suspended sediments.

The typical response procedures include protecting human health and safety, staying at safe distances from hazards, containing spilled materials when it is safe to do so, and beginning the clean-up process to restore the environment. Owners of these substances and business and commercial operators that carry or utilize these chemicals are required to:

  • Develop a spill response plan which evaluates the hazards associated with the chemical(s), documents the available spill response equipment, personnel and resources, and outlines the procedures to be implemented during an emergency.
  • Train employees on the spill response plan, and chemical and waste handling techniques.
  • Ensure all employees are aware of their responsibilities in preventing spills and their roles during an emergency.

An emergency response plan also assists businesses in identifying the potential locations where spills may occur and the possible releases to the receiving environment (land and water). This results in more efficient responses, hence reducing negative impacts to human health and safety, protecting the environment, and minimizing downtime and costs.

Keystone Environmental can help businesses in the preparation of emergency response plans, evaluation of potential hazards, and preparation of response procedures. We also can assist on-site during the spill event and provide notifications to regulatory agencies and stakeholders, coordinate containment and clean-up, and report the incident and the actions taken to address the emergency

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