Containing Oil Spills Quickly Can Make All the Difference
There are millions of cars, boats, planes, and trains operating at any given time. And all of those modes of transportation run on a lot of fuel. While some can be more fuel-efficient options than others, an oil spill of any size can be dire. Fuel can spread to nearby bodies of water and harm marine life, or it can impact the water we use everyday for cooking, cleaning, and consuming.
On February 3, 2023, a train derailment occurred in East Palestine, Ohio. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the accident. However, 11 of the cars that derailed carried hazardous material, which caused a massive fire and led to evacuations of the surrounding areas. Two weeks later, a train in Detroit, Michigan, derailed. It was carrying hazardous material, but fortunately, there was no evidence of a spill. Surprisingly, train derailments are quite common. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, about 1,000 derailments occur every year in the United States.
While train derailments can make big headlines, it is just a piece of the story. There are over 400,000 car accidents in Florida alone, every year. That’s an average of just over 1,100 per day. With how prevalent these accidents happen, it is important to have an oil spill response plan in place to clean up any toxic material that poses a threat to humans and our environment.
Detecting an Oil Spill
First, do not panic. Accidents happen, but they must be handled in a timely manner to avoid further damage to your health and the environment. Some toxins are colorless, but oftentimes fuel tends to have a strong odor. If an oil spill does occur, it is possible that the vehicle has damaged equipment or machinery. You can make a smart assessment of the area by working backwards. Examine the vehicle for damage, by looking at the broken parts of the engine, you might find a toxic leak that does not have the tell-tale color or odor.
Our findings show that knowing how to respond in that situation will help control and minimize the spill.
Responding to an Accident
Any time you’re handling fuel of any kind, you want to make sure you have your personal protective equipment (PPE) within reach to avoid contact that can harm or irritate your body. You also need to remove any nearby equipment that can be damaged by the fuel, as the clean up process can be messy and costly. When that is complete, try to contain the oil spill to avoid further spread into the environment, if possible.
These are only the initial steps to take to stop an oil spill. Following the initial review, we recommend calling our OPG+ Quick Response Team. We can help reduce the risk of hazardous or flammable chemicals using a natural solution that uses the power of bioremediation to turn the contaminants into CO2 and water.
OPG+ is Trained to Clean Up Oil Spills
Based on our observations, transportation accidents can be highly dangerous accidents with a lasting impact when fuel spills occur. Setting up an oil spill response plan will prepare you for the risks that may arise, and help protect our community and environment from potential harm.