To Report or Not to Report a Spill?

Environmental authorities in jurisdictions throughout North America set their own rules for reporting hazardous materials released into the environment. Reportable quantities vary from one jurisdiction to the next, and fines and penalties for non-compliance with reporting regulations can be stiff. Furthermore, spills often involve multiple jurisdictions, confusing the reporting issue. When in doubt about whether spilled material is enough to require a report, it’s best to report it anyway to the authority or authorities with jurisdiction in the vicinity of the spill.

Not all reportable spills are hazmat. More than half of all over-the-road releases involve diesel fuel saddle tanks. Spill Center™ estimates that it’s about an even split between broken fuel crossover lines and saddle tank punctures. Fuel spills require fast action to minimize costs and liability. Most jurisdictions do not distinguish between diesel fuel and hazardous material. Authorities view them the same when released into the environment. Other common fluid spills, including antifreeze and brake fluid, are also reportable by law.

There are nearly 30,000 federal, state, provincial and local jurisdictions across North America. Spill Center helps clients cut through the regulatory maze and put spills behind them, quickly and cost-effectively. Our database provides comprehensive, up-to-date reporting regulations and contact information to help clients avoid failure to report or late reporting situations. Another database lists qualified cleanup contractors in the USA and Canada that clients can access 24/7.

Spill Center’s expertise in spill management and environmental claims handling has helped clients in the transportation, manufacturing, chemical, construction and insurance industries control costs, limit liability and avoid fines and penalties after environmental spills. Our dedicated team of compliance associates is on the job 24/7, 365 days a year to assist with incident reporting, finding and managing cleanup contractors and providing expert advice to spill generators.

More information about Spill Center’s program of spill support and environmental claims management is available at our website: You can email me at or call me at 978-568-1922. I look forward to learning about your company.