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Petroleum Spills


View Emergency Action Plan as a PDF

While petroleum spills may be just as hazardous to individuals and/or the environment as other chemical spills, additional considerations must be taken into account. An emergency spillage of a petroleum product (oil, gasoline, fuel oil, etc.) exists in the following situations: 

  • there is an immediate threat of fire or explosion (based upon the type/quantity of spilled materials, and location to nearby equipment/processes); or 
  • there is an uncontrolled release of petroleum product to the environment (like a stormwater drain). 

Non-emergency petroleum spills, such as small oil drips in a parking lot or leaks into secondary containment devices around a fuel oil tank, may generally be resolved by internal responders. Call the Director of Environmental Protection, Safety & Sustainability (ext 4647) or the Senior Associate Director of the Facilities Management (ext 4085) for such non-emergency situations. 

  1. Any emergency petroleum spill should be reported primarily to Campus Safety (ext 4000), and secondarily to the Director of Environmental Protection, Safety & Sustainability (ext 4647). 
  2. When reporting be specific about the nature of the involved material and exact location. Campus Safety will contact the necessary specialized authorities and medical personnel (as necessary). 
  3. If possible, the individual discovering the spill should vacate the affected area at once and seal it off to prevent further contamination of other areas until the arrival of Campus Safety Personnel. 
  4. Anyone who may be contaminated by the spill is to avoid contact with others as much as possible, remain in the vicinity and give their names to Campus Safety. Required first aid and cleanup by specialized authorities should be started at once. 
  5.  If the spill threatens other building occupants (fire conditions, toxic/acrid vapors or fumes), activate the building alarm to signal an evacuation, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit, and proceed to the building’s muster point.
  6. During building evacuations, assist the handicapped in exiting the building. Remember that elevators are reserved for handicapped persons during evacuations. 
  7. Following emergency evacuations, your designated place of shelter is the primary assembly point, or alternate assembly point if the emergency is impacting your primary location. Proceed to your assembly point once instructed to do so by your Building Coordinator, RA, faculty member or supervisor. Keep streets, fire lanes, hydrants and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews. 
  8. If requested, assist Emergency crews as necessary. 
  9. A Command Post may be set up near the emergency site. Keep clear of the Command Post unless you have official business. 

IMPORTANT—DO NOT RETURN TO AN EVACUATED BUILDING until and unless told to do so by College officials. And remember—during an actual emergency resulting in a building evacuation, HEADCOUNTS are to be performed at the assembly point(s), not the muster point. Stay there until an accurate HEADCOUNT has been taken. 

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