The ABC's of SPCC

June 2019 Safety Topic

A yellow "safety first" yield sign.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan, known as the SPCC Plan, is a plan that is specific to oil stored in our facilities and describes what measures we have to take to contain and clean up oil spills, if and when they occur, and how to prevent spills from occurring in the first place. We have this SPCC Plan in place because we have containers and equipment that can hold 55 gallons (gal) or more of oil that, if spilled, could damage waterways.

At CUIMC, we follow specific practices to ensure that containers are in adequate condition to prevent oil spills:

  • Oil containers must be closed and in good condition.
  • Containers should be stored away from drains and waterways.
  • Oil tanks and drums with a capacity of 55 gal or more of oil must have secondary containment that can hold at least as much as the tank can hold.
  • If a containment structure is outside, it should be covered whenever possible.
  • If such outdoor structures are uncovered, the containment structure must be kept free of water.
  • If water is taken out of the containment area and the water has a sheen, it must not be disposed of in a sewer system.

During monthly inspections, designated Facilities staff:

  • Inspects all oil containers and oil-containing equipment for leaks and damaged or rusted parts.
  • Makes sure containers and oil-containing equipment are operating properly.
  • Documents the inspection.

Finally, it is important to know that when a spill occurs, ACT FAST and:

  • Call Public Safety (212) 305-7979 to report the spill. (A member of the Campus Life Safety & Regulatory Compliance team will be contacted.)
  • Contain the spill as much as you can.
  • Report the spill to your supervisor. Information that you need to report includes the amount spilled, what kind of oil or fuel it is, the location of the spill, and what response measures have already been taken.
  • Limit access to the area where the spill occurred.
  • Work with your supervisor to dispose of all cleanup debris as oil waste.

Remember, the biggest concern during a spill event is your safety and the safety of your fellow employees!

For more information or questions about spill prevention and cleanup, please speak with your supervisor or contact a member of the Campus Life Safety & Regulatory Compliance team.