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.