Petroleum Spill

Petroleum Spill

In the event of a spill or release of oil/oil products (including petroleum, non-petroleum, food oils, etc.) to the environment, the following procedure should be followed: 

  1. Immediately evaluate the situation for an ignition source or other fire or explosion hazard.  If such a hazard exists, evacuate the area immediately and call the Department of Public Safety at 711 from a University phone, 443-2224 from any other phone, or #78 from a cell phone.


    Petroleum Products
    Flash Point (oF)
    No. 2 Fuel Oil
    126 – 204
    Diesel Fuel
    100 – 130
    Mineral Oil
    300 – 450
  1. Identify the source of the spill or release.  If it is safe to do so, terminate the flow (i.e. shut off supply lines, close valves, etc.)
  2. Cover floor drains and/or storm water drains in the vicinity of the spill or release with appropriate drain plugs or covers if  available (appropriate drain protection should be available at every petroleum product storage tank).
  3. Contain the spill or release if possible with appropriate materials (i.e. oil absorbents, spill pads, dikes, etc.).  Put on appropriate protective clothing prior to containing the spill if there is a potential for contact with the petroleum product.
  4. Contact the Environmental Health and Safety Services Office (EHSS) at 443-4132 during normal University business hours or the Department of Public Safety after normal work hours.  EHSS will provide assistance and/or advise on proper cleanup and/or containment.  EHSS will also provide notification to the appropriate regulatory agencies as necessary.
  5. Collect petroleum-contaminated debris (i.e. gloves, dikes, soil, etc.) in containers for proper disposal.  EHSS will provide assistance in determining proper disposal of contaminated items.


Radioactive Chemical Spills

Any radioactive contamination of personnel, equipment, facilities or properties of Syracuse University must be reported to the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) or his designee.  The RSO will direct the remediation and decontamination of radioactive material spills.  
  1. Clear the Area:  Notify all persons in the involved area/room to vacate the immediate area of the incident but instruct them to remain in the vicinity of the area until they have been properly monitored for possible radioactive contamination.  If circumstances immediately dangerous to life and/or health exist, involved individuals should exit to a safe area, notify response personnel as to their location, and remain in that area until monitored for possible radioactive contamination.
  2. Prevent the Spread:  Cover the spill with absorbent pads or paper, do not attempt to clean it up.  Confine movements of all personnel potentially contaminated to prevent further contamination.
  3. Shield the Source: If possible and as necessary, the spill should be shielded, but only if it can be done without further contamination or without significantly increasing your radiation exposure.
  4. Close Off Access to the Area:  Restrict access to the area and secure the area to prevent entry.
  5. Notify the Radiation Safety Officer immediately (443-4132) or Public Safety after normal work hours (711 from a University phone, #78 from a cell phone, or 443-2224 from any phone).
  6. Personnel Decontamination: If an appropriate survey meter is available and individuals are able and knowledgeable of the isotope(s) involved, survey clothes and exposed skin.  Contaminated clothing should be removed and stored in plastic bags for evaluation by the Radiation Safety Staff.  If contamination is on the skin, flush the skin thoroughly with lukewarm water, then wash with mild soap and lukewarm water.  Survey again; if contamination remains, repeat the process as long as contamination remains.
  7. The RSO will supervise the cleanup of the spill and complete a report.

Inclement Weather/Severe Storms

The University remains open and observes its schedules in all weather, unless the determination is made by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, and the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer that current weather conditions warrant cancellation of classes and/or closing.

In the event of extreme weather emergency conditions, instructions will be communicated to the University community.

In the event of inclement weather,

Stay informed – listen and watch for advisories/alerts via:

  1. Campus e-mail
  2. Syracuse University’s website:
  3. Weather Alert text message
  4. Campus Announcements:
  5. Syracuse University’s Twitter account:
  6. SU’s radio station WAER-FM 88.3 and other local radio and television station for University information.

To report locations in need of snow clearing, please call 315.443.4984. Report any other hazardous conditions to Physical Plant at 315.443.1234 or the Department of Public Safety at 315.443.2224.

For additional guidance, view the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Severe Storm Guidelines.