How To Respond to a Spill or Release


Any type of spill or release can happen with little to no notice, so it is important to be prepared to always respond to them. Many people and companies tend not to think about the potential for spills and releases until it is too late, and they have already occurred. If you do plan for these incidents, you could potentially save your company thousands of dollars or even more. In today’s blog, we will be explaining a step-by-step process to give you some ideas for how to prepare for potential spills. Before reading, it is important to understand that each company is different, and companies should not take a “one shoe fits all” approach and instead create a custom plan that works best for their company’s needs.

Step-By-Step Plan

Step One: Develop a contingency plan or standard operating procedure and train employees before an incident occurs.

Step Two: Request your drivers make notifications to designated company personnel in a timely manner. Consider developing a rapid response booklet to be placed in the cab of the truck for drivers to quickly reference in case of emergency. This booklet should also provide contact information should an incident occur. Obviously, this booklet should only be referenced if the driver is not injured and if there is not an imminent danger to the driver.

Step Three: Advise your drivers to cooperate with responders and to also provide cargo information so emergency personnel can take proper actions and precautions to protect both the environment and human health.

Step Four: Develop an environmental vendor approval process, or have your company pre-select an environmental consultant, contractor, or both.

Step Five: When a spill does occur, aggressively remediate petroleum-impacted soil to avoid groundwater impacts whenever possible.

Step Six: Advise your company to develop a media policy.

Step Seven: Make certain that all waste is properly documented and is transported to properly licensed facilities.


Every company has different needs when creating a plan that works for them. Consulting with a company who is skilled in spill and response services can help you to create a plan that is best for your company specifically. Highlands Environmental Solutions does offer professional environmental consulting services, so if you’re company needs a spill or response related plan, feel free to reach out to to hear what we can do for you!

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