Report all spills, regardless of quantity, to the Office of EH&S at X-2252, or Campus Safety at ext. 2222. Click here for the link to the full version of Connecticut College's "Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures" (SPCC) Plan. (Requires login to Connecticut College's Intranet "CamelWeb".)

Spills of petroleum products such as gasoline, tar, lubricating oils and kerosene usually occur as result of mechanical failure or human error. Spills during consumption (i.e., use of automobiles, boats, etc.) tend to be small, but are so numerous and widespread that they contribute the vast majority (about 70 percent) of human-caused petroleum pollution in the sea.

On July 1, 1994, EPA finalized revisions to the "Clean Water Act" that directed facility owners or operators to prepare and submit plans for responding to discharges of oil and oil products. This "Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures" (SPCC) rule applies to owners or operators of non-transportation-related facilities that:

  • Drill, produce, store, process, refine, transfer, distribute, use, or consume oil or oil products, and
  • Could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to U.S. navigable waters or adjoining shorelines

Facilities are subject to the rule if they meet at least one of the following capacity thresholds:

  • Aboveground oil storage capacity greater than 1,320 gallons, or
  • Completely buried oil storage capacity greater than 42,000 gallons

Connecticut College meets all of these criteria, and has developed a SPCC Plan, that provides location, use, and spill prevention strategies for every oil filled vessel on college property. This SPCC plan is regularly updated and revised. A printed copy of this document is maintained at all locations where oils and petroleum products are stored or used.

Vegetable or animal based oils and greases are also covered under this regulation.

Response and Cleanup Procedures

  1. Eliminate the source of the spill by uprighting storage containers, closing valves, patching or other similar actions.
  2. Take all possible actions to prevent the oil from leaving College property by entering sewer or storm drains. Block or dike the flowing oil with "Speedi-Dri", sand bags or absorbent socks or booms. Cover or block storm or sewer drains with elastomer mats or berms.
  3. Spread absorbents over the surface of the spill working from the perimeter of the spill, to its center. Socks and pillows work best on pooled liquid, while pads have an advantage on thin layers of oil. Oil Sorb will work in either situation but can be more difficult to clean up.
  4. Notify the Director of EH&S at ext. 2252 during normal business hours, or by calling Campus Safety at 911 or ext. 2222. The Director of EH&S will evaluate the situation, and make the required notifications to local, state and federal authorities.
  5. Contaminated absorbents containing "Fry-o-later" oil, diesel fuel, motor oil, gasoline, hydraulic oil and non-PCB containing transformer oil should be taken to the Facilities Management Garage, and placed in the 55-gallon drum designated for this wastestream. Additional 55 gallon drums are stored in the Facilities Management Hazardous Waste Storage Facility. Make sure that a "Hazardous Waste" label is properly filled out and affixed to the drum. (Guidance for completing this label can be found on the "Hazardous Waste Management Plan" by clicking on the "Environmental Compliance" link on the left.)
  6. PCB containing transformer oil must be disposed of in a separate container.

Contents of Oil Spill Kits include: Magnetic or adhesive rubber storm drain covers, absorbent booms, pigs, socks, pads, as well as pails and/or carts filled with "Speedi-Dri."


Facilities Management Garage
Facilities Management Hazardous Waste Storage Facility
Power House
Harris Kitchen
Crozier-Williams Snack Bar
Jane Addams Kitchen
Boat House
Campus Safety Vehicles

 Emergency Oil Spills

An emergency situation exists when:

  • The quantity of spilled oil is 25 gallons or larger, or
  • The spill has entered a sanitary or storm drain or otherwise left College property, or
  • The spill has entered a ground or surface water, or the spill can not be contained or stopped, or
  • Additional spill equipment is needed and is not immediately available.

In the case of an emergency spill, the person discovering it should perform the following once it has been determined that the situation is not life threatening:

  1. Take immediate action to stop the spill if it is continuing (i.e. shutting off valves, uprighting containers, etc.),
  2. Take all possible measures to prevent the spill from entering sewers or streams and to minimize the affected area. (See bullet #2 above.)
  3. Notify the Director of EH&S at ext. 2252 during normal business hours, or by calling Campus Safety at 911 or ext. 2222. Based upon the situation, the Director of EH&S will request "off-campus" emergency responders.
  4. Remain in the immediate vicinity until released by the emergency responder in charge.