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Managing outdoor liquid spills to protect the environment

Outdoor spills require different considerations than indoor spills. They can be more difficult to manage and have more potential to cause environmental damage.

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©2012 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved • Registered office: New Pig Ltd. • Hogs Hill, Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH

Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

Highlighting the risks
This paper details the main differences between outdoor and indoor liquid spills and the steps you can take to prepare your facility and protect the environment from hazardous outdoor spills. It is likely to be of special interest if you hold any of the following positions: • • • • • • • • • • • • Spill Responder Environmental Health and Safety Manager Facilities Manager Site Manager Transport Manager Construction Manager Delivery Supervisor Plant Manager Waste Manager Maintenance Manager Vehicle Operator Logistics Manager

©2012 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved • Registered office: New Pig Ltd. • Hogs Hill, Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH

Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

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Spills Happen
Spills can happen anywhere, at any time. Whether it’s inside your facility or outdoors, you need to be prepared for spill clean up. When preparing to protect your facility and the environment from unwanted liquids releases, consider the common causes of liquid spills: • • • • • • • • Overfilling or poor handling of storage containers such as drums and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) tanks Damaged or leaking storage containers Equipment and spill containment failure Failure of underground tanks or pipe work A collision or accident during transport or delivery Pipe work failure Weather related problems, including flooding or high wind damage or extreme temperature Fires or explosions

Whether inside or outdoors, you need to be prepared for spill clean up.

Don’t let unwanted liquid spills spread into the environment by not being prepared.

If any of these incidents happen outdoors there is the increased risk that spilled liquids could spread into the environment if you aren’t prepared. This can happen via: • • • • The surface water drainage system Direct runoff into a watercourse The soil, soakaways, drains or damaged surfaces to groundwater The foul sewer system, where pollutants may discharge through storm overflows to surface waters.

©2012 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved • Registered office: New Pig Ltd. • Hogs Hill, Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH

Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

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Outdoor spills are different
Preparing for outdoor spills requires different considerations in order to protect the environment and achieve effective spill response. Spills outdoors can be more difficult to manage than indoor spills because they have more potential to reach the environment and cause pollution. Many different factors can hinder spill response efforts and increase potential risks to both responders and the environment. When conducting your risk assessment and choosing your spill containment equipment consider the main differences between indoor and outdoor spills:

Outdoor spills have more potential to reach the environment and cause pollution.

1. Different terrains
There are no smooth surfaces outside – you’ve got dirt, rough terrain, roads, etc. to deal with during spill response. Getting to a spill quickly can prove difficult and issues may arise during spill clean up.

The more time it takes you to clean up a spill, the more you need to pay in fines and remediation costs.

2. The proximity to water
Repairs, maintenance or improvements being carried out to structures over or above a main river increase the risk of spills reaching waterways and drains. Fast response is essential to avoid environmental pollution.

3. Proximity to the ground
Groundwater pollution happens more quickly outdoors. Potentially polluting substances used near wells or springs and in areas where there is thin covering soil have the potential to cause groundwater pollution. The more time it takes you to clean up a spill, the more you need to pay in fines and remediation costs.

4. Facing the weather head on
Wet and windy conditions can delay your response and damage your spill control equipment. UV damage can also occur, even in cloudy conditions. Your equipment will need to be able to withstand different weather conditions to ensure effective spill clean up.

5. Off site locations
Outdoor spills can happen in remote locations as well as on building sites, forest environments, SSI locations, etc. Spill response equipment needs to be appropriate for working in these locations to prevent environmental damage and the consequences that can follow.

©2012 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved • Registered office: New Pig Ltd. • Hogs Hill, Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH

Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

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High-risk industries
Outdoor spills can happen in and around any facility. However, industries where the majority of work is undertaken outdoors have a higher risk of causing environmental damage. The following industries are more likely to encounter outdoor spills: • • • • • • • • • • • Construction & maintenance Demolition businesses Waste management businesses Forestry operations Vehicle & fleet maintenance businesses Chemical Manufacturing Mining Utilities Farming Oil & gas extraction Transport companies

No matter how small an outdoor spill is, it can result in significant pollution and endanger human and equatic life.

It is important to be aware of the increased risk in these industries and the outdoor factors that can hinder spill response and clean up.

Outdoor spills – the consequences
No matter how large or small an outdoor spill is, it can still result in significant pollution. Depending on the extent of the spill, it can damage your reputation, endanger human and aquatic life, incur expensive clean up costs, increase insurance premiums and your company could face prosecution.

Case Study
Consider the consequences that a chemical manufacturer faced when approximately 50 Litres of xylene leaked undetected from corroded pipework and into a bund which did not contain it. Over time acidic vapours from one of the reactor vessels at the chemical plant had escaped through a faulty butterfly valve into a fusion tank which was not designed to cope with them. The valve was supposed to isolate the reactor system from the fusion system. The vapours corroded a section of pipe creating a hole of 5-10mm diameter. When the reactor vessel was pressurised, the xylene/water mix was forced out through the hole into the bund. The sealant on the bund wall had degraded and the nature of the block work of the bund wall clearly allowed the liquid to seep through. The surface water drain was directly adjacent to the bund wall. Although only half a litre was estimated to have entered the sewer and there was no adverse environmental impact, the company was still fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £7656 costs for breaching their permit limit. Environment Agency officer Kevin Burton said: “This incident has highlighted the importance for companies to thoroughly assess the risks from all of their activities. It is also vitally important that key environmental protection systems such as bunds are inspected and maintained to the highest standard, ready to contain leaks or spillages at any time.”

©2012 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved • Registered office: New Pig Ltd. • Hogs Hill, Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH

Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

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Planning and preparing for outdoor spills
Outdoor spills can be avoided with careful planning and by having effective procedures in place. To prepare your company and help ensure the risks of outdoor spills aren’t overlooked there are some steps you can take:

Determine the largest volume of liquid that is likely to spill to ensure correct spill equipment is in place.

1. Understand all outdoor issues

Determine anything that could go wrong in the outdoor environment. Take into account the different terrains that exist, outdoor weather conditions, offsite locations where work may be taking place, and the proximity to waterways and groundwater. Work being carried out near these areas increases the risk of environmental pollution. You can get information on local surface and groundwater sensitivity from the Environment Agency before you start any work. You should also take precautions to prevent blocking of channels and culverts, and erosion of riverbanks or beds.

2. Identify polluting materials

Knowing the liquids in your facility is an important step in determining the risk that exists. Identify all liquids, wastes and processes that could give rise to pollution, even in offsite locations where spills can still happen. Also determine the largest volume of liquid that is likely to spill so that you have the correct spill equipment to respond effectively. Remember to consider everyday liquids as well as oil, which can be just as damaging to the environment.

3. Develop a maintenance programme

Ensure that all equipment on site, above and below ground, is in good condition. Develop a maintenance programme where equipment is routinely inspected and effectively maintained to reduce the risk of leaks and spills. Keep a record of all inspections and any onsite maintenance. Inspections should also be carried out on spill response supplies to ensure that stock levels aren’t running low.

4. Develop an incident response plan

Put procedures in place to enable effective spill clean up. These should be documented in your incident response plan and should be implemented straight away when a spill occurs. Your plan should include 7 sequential steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Assess the risk Equip the responders Confine the spill Stop the spill at its source Clean up Decontaminate Report

More detailed information on these steps can be found in the white paper – Where there’s a spill there’s a way

5. Conduct staff training

Ensure that all employees are trained in accordance with their roles and locations. The training should cover what staff should and shouldn’t do when a spill happens, and where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and pollution and spill control equipment is located. All employees should also be told where a copy of the incident response plan is kept. A good tip is to organise practice runs without an actual spill to ensure responders can carry out spill response safely and follow the procedures put in place. Keep spill equipment close to spill-prone areas to help ensure preparedness.

©2012 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved • Registered office: New Pig Ltd. • Hogs Hill, Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH

Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

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Solutions to reduce the risk
Prepare your facility to protect the environment by having the correct spill containment and spill response equipment in place to limit and control spills. Products designed to help you do this include: • Spill kits – contain absorbent mats, pillows and socks for spill containment and clean up. Available in Oil-Only, Universal and HazMat versions in different containers that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor spill response. Information on how to select an outdoor spill kit can be found in our video at www.youtube.com/newpiguk Absorbent mats – absorb liquid leaks and spills from machinery, pipes and in hard-to-reach places. Drain covers - place over drains to create a tight seal to prevent liquids from entering waterways causing environmental damage. Portable containment – deploys quickly to capture and contain spills from leaking vehicles, hydraulic lines or leaking containers. Booms – absorbents for absorbing oil spills on water or containing larger spills on the ground. Ideal for use in rainy conditions as no water is absorbed. Socks – mould around machine bases and containers to contain and absorb leaks and spills. Available in Oil-Only, Universal and HazMat versions Loose absorbents – throw on spills to quickly absorb liquids and sweep up for fast spill clean up. Outdoor storage – bunded storage solutions store liquids securely and contain large leaks and spills. Outdoor pan decks – hold oil absorbents to absorb oil leaks from machine parts whilst allowing rainwater to run right through. Personal protective equipment (PPE) – protects workers whilst cleaning up hazardous liquids to help keep them safe. Weighted pillows – won’t blow away. Ideal to soak up leaks in outdoor weather conditions.

Prepare your facility to protect the environment by having correct spill containment and response equipment in place at all times.

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©2012 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved • Registered office: New Pig Ltd. • Hogs Hill, Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH

Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

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Lessons learned
Outdoor spills have more potential to cause harm to the environment, and in turn, damage to your business reputation and profitability. Taking into consideration the outdoor factors that can increase risk and affect spill response will help ensure your facility is prepared for outdoor spills. Carefully planning your procedures and selecting your spill containment and clean up equipment with these in mind will help to prevent environmental damage and the resulting consequences. A trained workforce will also ensure the risk is reduced. Regular training sessions will help to keep procedures in the minds of employees and give them the confidence and knowledge to deal with outdoor spills effectively. For more information and training materials, please visit New Pig UK at: www.newpig.co.uk www.newpigukblog.co.uk www.facebook.com/newpiguk www.twitter.com/newpiguk

You

NewPigUK

NewPigUK

@NewPigUK

newpigukblog.co.uk

©2012 New Pig Ltd. All rights reserved • Registered office: New Pig Ltd. • Hogs Hill, Watt Place • Hamilton International Technology Park • Blantyre G72 0AH

Freephone: 0800 919 900 • Fax: 0800 731 5071 • pigpen@newpig.com

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