Spill Prevention

Red and yellow barrel with chemicals spilling out.

TWU has developed and implemented a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC plan) for the Denton campus. The SPCC plan focuses on potential spills of oil and other petroleum-based products, as well as animal and vegetable oils, and establishes procedures to reduce the likelihood of spills, as well as procedures for spill response by TWU employees. 

TWU’s SPCC plan includes the following:

  • Description of oil/petroleum product storage locations,
  • Description of secondary containment or other structural controls for oil storage locations,
  • Maps and tables indicating where an accidental release would migrate from the oil storage locations,
  • Required operating procedures,
  • Spill response procedures, and
  • Description of historic spills/releases.

An electronic copy of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan is available online, and the original signed copy is maintained in the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.

Overall Strategy

  • ­Spill PREVENTION is achieved through installation of required equipment, timely repair of malfunctioning systems, regular inspections, and good oil handling practices.
  • ­Spill CONTROL is achieved through monitoring of leak detection systems, proper reporting, and ensuring containment systems are functional.
  • ­Spill COUNTERMEASURES are achieved through quick spill response activities.


It is the responsibility of TWU employees to keep their work area clean at all times:

  • ­Spills, no matter how small or insignificant, should be cleaned up immediately in accordance with proper procedures and the material’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS), if it can be done safely.
  • ­Sorbent materials shall be properly disposed of (contact EH&S for assistance – x2924).
  • ­Immediately report large spills/leaks (see below).

Materials Storage

Oils and other chemicals must be stored such that a spill or leak cannot reach floor drains or the environment. ­So if you store containers outside, in areas with floor drains, adjacent doors leading outside, etc.; you must use a “spill pallet” or similar containment device or structure. The containment device or structure must contain the entire contents of the largest container, or 10% of all containers, whichever is larger. Containment that is outdoors must also have additional capacity for rainfall if not covered.

Spill Response

If you observe a spill, leak or other release:

  • Contact TWU DPS (940-898-2911 or x2911) if there is an imminent threat of fire or other life-threatening situation.
  • Identify the source of the leak or spill and attempt to stop the flow of material, if practicable without endangering yourself or others! If there is any question about your ability to respond safety, LEAVE THE AREA and instruct others to do the same.
    • ­The SDS will list specific cleanup procedures and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the material.
    • ­If the spill is beyond the capabilities of TWU personnel or equipment, contact EH&S (x2924) or FMC(x3131), who will obtain outside cleanup assistance.
  • Place sorbent materials or drain covers to prevent oil from reaching navigable waters or sanitary sewer/floor drains.
  • Even if there are no drains nearby, sorbent materials should also be placed down-gradient as necessary to contain spill/leak.
  • Cordon off the area if necessary to prevent personnel and traffic from entering the area, contact DPS for assistance with traffic/crowd control at (940-898-2911 or x2911).
  • Contact EH&S/FMC for ALL spills outdoors, and for large spills indoors (generally greater than 1 gallon). Call EH&S during normal business hours (x2924); and the FMC Central Plant (x3170) during other times.


TWU employees who handle significant quantities of petroleum products or oils, or supervise those who do (including students working with oils in labs/kitchens or contractors delivering or picking up waste oils), must receive SPCC training annually. This training is available from EH&S in classroom settings, or under the EH&S organization in Blackboard.

Page last updated 9:33 AM, March 28, 2019