Petroleum spills cause devastation to the environment as well as damage to the companies who are responsible. They must pay substantial fines and handle the portrayal of their company image in the media. When a petroleum spill happens, it needs to be taken care of properly to prevent irreversible damage to the environment and the business.

Companies should follow certain steps for spill plan prevention. If a spill occurs, these organizations need to have measures in place so they can act quickly. To do so effectively, companies need to understand what causes oil spills, the best ways to prevent them, and the resources to deal with spills when they occur in a expedient and thorough manner.

Causes of Petroleum Spills

Spills are mostly caused by accidents, mistakes and carelessness, the breakdown of equipment, terrorist acts, illegal dumping, and the effects of natural disasters.

How to Prevent and Prepare for an Oil Spill

The best way to prevent an oil spillage is to prepare in advance. Perform regular maintenance on associated equipment and do the following:

  • Check equipment on a regular basis.
  • Replace worn and cracked hydraulic fittings and lines.
  • Use a drip tray or an oil tray.
  • Eliminate potential areas in piping where water can accumulate and freeze.
  • Conduct appropriate employee training on spill response.
  • Contact spill response subcontractors to ensure up to date contacts numbers.

While pumping, be sure to:

  • Leave room for the fuel to expand when filling up your tank.
  • Verify empty space tank volumes.
  • Catch drips with fuel collars or absorbent pads.

The EPA requires some organizations to create a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan. This plan outlines what your company would do if a petroleum spill were to occur. Your company must prove its competence by explaining how your facility handles petroleum, how it prevents spills and the equipment and people required to avoid a spill. You may also have regular inspections to meet SPCC requirements.

It is essential to know what to do when a petroleum spill happens. Time is of the essence as the quicker the spill is identified and contained, minimizes the extent of impacted soils or water which reduces the associated remediation costs. The spill needs to be contained with absorbent pads, or you can boom (contained in a floating barrier) to prevent the petroleum from spreading. Per federal law, you must tell the Coast Guard and the state spill response office. The Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental organizations may also get involved.

Contact GSI for Environmental Remediation Services

GSI Environmental offers environmental remediation services to obtain the data needed to create a corrective action plan. GSI also provides risk assessment, due diligence, permits and compliance and more. We have over 30 years of industry experience and do not have geographical limits. We will help a client no matter their location.

To learn more about how GSI Environmental can help in spill prevention and preparedness for your business, call us at 717.691.9799 or fill out the form on our website.