Dealing With Hazmat Spills

Spill Center Delivers Expertise In Dealing With Hazmat Spills

After stopping the flow of the leaking material and ensuring that the pollutant does not reach a body of water or drainage ditch, the most important next step to take is completing the mandatory incident report to the authority or authorities with jurisdiction over the spill site. Failure to make the reports within the required timeframe can bring stiff fines and penalties for non-compliance.

It is important to understand the spill generator’s legal responsibility. Are you responsible for making reports even if the spill was not your driver’s fault? In a word, Yes.

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After a transportation accident, for example, the carrier having care, custody and control of a material at the time of loss is considered the spill generator and is responsible for

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spill damages, cleanup costs and making all required incident reports, both by phone and written. Oftentimes, spills involve several jurisdictions, each with its own reporting requirements.

Spill Center’s blog discusses topics related to minimizing costs and limiting liability related to spills and pollution events. Strict liability is defined as “legal responsibility without regard to fault.” Strict liability makes the spill generator responsible for paying damages associated with it, including the following:

  • Costs related to response, reporting, remediation and waste disposal
  • Property damage and bodily injury arising from the spill
  • Fines and penalties for failing to comply with reporting regulations
  • Reimbursement of emergency services

The blog entry also offers recommendations on ways to maintain a legally defensible position against third-part claimants. After a spill requiring environmental cleanup, all activities, including efforts taken to contain and stop leaking materials and all regulatory reporting activities, should be logged. In truck-related incidents, drivers should write down everything they do after a spill to avoid being drawn into a pre-existing contamination problem as a responsible party.

Being able to document that a release was separate in time, separate in nature, and was the subject of a separate and complete response and remediation will go a long way toward a successful defense. That driver’s log will provide a written record that can be used to place the company in a legally defensible position.

Other blog topics at the site address recalls of hazardous products, working with contractors, invoice auditing and dealing with emergency responders seeking reimbursement. Spill Center’s program of support to clients in the transportation, chemical and insurance industries is also discussed.

In addition, Spill Center hosts a monthly podcast in which I discuss topics related to spills and spill preparedness. The current podcast addresses the potential consequences of failing to report spills. An archive of previous podcasts is also available at the site at spillcenter.podomatic.com.

Spill Center provides immediate spill management and required documentation, comprehensive regulatory expertise, clean-up contractor referrals, invoice auditing and a proven method designed to place the spill generator in a legally defensible position – all in a low-cost way proven to control costs and limit liability. Spill Center’s offers expertise in:

  • Environmental regulatory compliance
  • Emergency spill response management and documentation
  • Claims resolution, negotiation and settlement
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For nearly 24 years, Spill Center’s expertise in spill management and environmental claims handling has helped hundreds of clients, from the largest truckload, LTL , private fleets and small fleets to truck leasing, chemical, environmental and insurance companies. They count on us to help get past spill incidents and avoid fines and penalties for non-compliance with reporting regulations.

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Spill Center Mobile App

Spill generators can also contact Spill Center via a new app for Smart phones and other mobile devices. Spill Center Mobile works with Apple, Blackberry and Android devices. The app was designed to provide instant communication with Spill Center’s operations center to immediately begin coordinating the response and making all required incident reports.

Spill Center Mobile can be downloaded at no charge from Google Play for Android, Blackberry World and the Apple Store for iPhone and iPad. To download, first go online to www.spillcenter.net and enroll in the Spill Center program.

  1. Visit www.spillcenter.net and click ‘enroll’ at the top of the page
  2. Enter your company’s profile details and submit
  3. Complete the verification steps
  4. Download the Spill Center Mobile app for your device or use the

shifting hazmat

Spill Center Mobile users include Spill Center clients in the insurance, chemical, environmental and transportation industries – from the largest truckload, less-than-truckload and private fleets to small fleets. Our clients count on us to improve their preparedness to handle pollution events and other environmental spills requiring emergency response, cleanup, waste disposal and mandatory reporting.

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Technology has always played a major role in Spill Center operations since 1990, when Spill Center was launched as an emergency communications center and a fast, reliable clearinghouse of information. The company grew to become a leading resource for environmental claims management.

Systems were developed to manage the company’s own data and support its operations. Soon the mission was expanded beyond managing environmental claims to providing information quickly to spill generators. Today Spill Center is the North American leader in spill support and environmental claims management, offering services to a broad client base.

By Thomas Moses, Esq. - Spill Center President

Spill Center®, a North American leader in spill support and environmental claims management, offers a wealth of information on its website and blog for companies at risk for accidental releases of hazardous materials and other pollution events. A new blog entry discusses priorities that spill generators should observe in the aftermath of an environmental release of regulated materials.

This information is provided by Tom Moses, president of Spill Center®, Inc., which he founded in 1990 as a North American resource for companies at risk from hazardous materials releases. He holds a law degree and a certificate in hazardous materials control and emergency response, and he served as a U.S. EPA toxicologist.

Tom is considered a leading authority on environmental regulations and compliance issues in the transportation industry. His expertise includes chemical security; environmental and safety regulatory compliance; crisis response management; and environmental claims resolution, negotiation and settlement.

The Spill Center program is designed to help clients deal with environmental releases swiftly and thoroughly to avoid trouble with regulatory authorities. For more information, visit the website: www.spillcenter.net. Or contact Tom Moses by phone at 978-568-1922, x222 or email at tmoses@spillcenter.net.

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