Under environmental laws, many requirements govern any spill, release, or discharge of hazardous substances. This includes everything from reporting to clean up, storage, and disposal. Knowing these frequently asked questions about emergency spills and enlisting the help of emergency spill response companies is essential to meeting the challenges of emergency spills.
Top FAQs on Emergency Spills
Using hazardous materials is a normal part of daily life. Small spills happen occasionally, but apart from minor inconveniences like traffic delays, these incidents don’t usually cause much trouble.
Major spills are completely different. They can pollute the environment, put people, animals, and other entities at risk, rack up astronomical costs, and cause immense disturbances, just to name a few.
Due to similarities among response protocols, companies will benefit from knowing the answers to these frequently asked questions:
- Are companies legally required to have a response plan for emergency spills?
Companies are not specifically required by law to have an official spill response plan. However, it is strongly advised to have one especially since big emergency spills often cause panic and chaos.
Having a spill response plan means you can stay on top of the emergency if it ever happens. Your response plan should be as detailed as possible and include information like reporting and response requirements.
- When are companies required to report a spill?
Most jurisdictions require companies to report emergency spills if they:
- Allow or cause the spill
- Are responsible for a spill
- Manage, possess, own, or control the spilled substance
In addition, always report a spill ASAP to minimize damage to the environment and meet environmental laws.
- Who should you report the spill to?
First, report it to the right government environmental agency. You can find special reporting hotlines in many jurisdictions. Make sure to report the spill to owners of properties affected by the spill, the owner of the spilled material or the one who is responsible for it, and anyone else who stands to be affected by the event.
- What should the spill report contain?
Depending on the jurisdiction and environmental laws, the contents of a spill report may vary. However, most emergency spill reports include this basic information:
- Name and contact details of your company
- A description of what happened before, during, and after the spill
- Time, location, and other pertinent details
- How much and what substance the spill contains
- Description of the site of the spill and its surroundings
- Actions taken after the emergency spill
- Should a company still report a spill even if it’s already cleaned up?
Yes. Just because you cleaned up the spill doesn’t mean you’re exempted from reporting it. The government needs to be informed about emergency spills so it can evaluate the extent of damage to the environment, and whether any environmental laws have been broken. Not reporting a spill because you’ve already taken remediation steps can lead to serious and expensive consequences.
The Role of Emergency Spill Response Professionals
Always have the number of an experienced emergency spill response company on speed dial. Their specialized knowledge about emergency spills and industrial waste management will help you ensure that you’re dealing with spills the right way and in accordance with environmental laws.