Spill Response Team

Introduction

Spills of oil and other hazardous materials are a constant threat and the occurrence of such spills is of increasing concern in Halton. Some spills are minor and can be dealt with by Police, Fire and Public Works Departments with comparative ease.

However, for major spills, it is necessary to make advance plans and preparations to better safeguard the community. In order to deal more effectively with spill occurrences within the Region, Halton and the Region's Area Municipalities have formalized arrangements for a coordinated response effort. Effective July 1, 1986, Halton and Area Municipalities established Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team. As part of the financing arrangements, a reserve fund known as the Spills Response Emergency Reserve Fund was set up and is maintained as outlined in By-law 226-86.

This Plan is part of The Regional Municipality of Halton's Emergency Plan.

Purpose

  • To provide outside agencies and the Public with a procedure to notify or call for assistance in dealing with spills.
  • To outline the specific division of response responsibility between the Region's Emergency Spill Response Team and the Area Municipalities' Public Works Departments.
  • Responsibility of first responders.
  • A directory of all agencies, businesses, and plans that could be directly or indirectly related to spills response with Halton.

Emergency Spill Telephone Numbers

All spills shall be reported to Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team, even when an Area Municipality has been notified. Contact can be made on a 24-hour basis. Please see the numbers listed below:

  • 905-825-6000
  • 311
  • Toll Free: 1-866-442-5866 

When contacting Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team during normal working hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding holidays), please request that the call be directed to the Wastewater Plant Operations Division.

All after-hours calls, made outside those times will be handled by the dispatch staff at the Emergency Answering Service and forwarded to the Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team member on call.

Procedure For Reporting Spills

The following information should be provided when reporting a spill:

  • Name, address and telephone number of person calling.
  • Product identification (exact spelling).
  • Has spill occurred or is it imminent? If it is a rural location, include Township, Lot and Concession whenever possible).
  • Suggested approach or route to the scene.
  • Volume of spill and time occurred.
  • Direction of movement of spill (on road, sewer or stream).
  • Action taken if any (others contacted? etc).
  • Personnel on scene of spill.

Alerting Procedure Implemented

The person at Halton's telephone number receiving the alerting call will then contact the Halton Emergency Spill Response Team. Once contact has been established and the information passed on, it is unnecessary for the person reporting the spill to take further action unless specifically requested to do so. This does not however preclude contact procedures of other agencies as part of their emergency plans.

Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team member contacted will coordinate the remaining necessary calls and then proceed to the site to assess the spill and determine the action to be taken.

All spills to the environment must be reported to the Ministry of Environment and Energy External Link Spill Action Centre (1-800-268-6060).  This call will be made by Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team.

Where spills involve combustible fuels such as gasoline, fuel oil, etc., from bulk handling and retail stations, always contact the Fuels Safety Branch. Where trucking accidents result in loss of fuel products from bulk carries, ensure contact with Fuels Safety Branch for their investigations. Upon contact, this branch will advise whether or not they will respond immediately. Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team may be requested to make this contact.

If the incident involves toxic material and there is an immediate danger to the health of the public or a likelihood that private or public water supplies can or may be contaminated, Halton's Medical Officer of Health and the Environmental Services Division must also be notified. This call will be made by Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team.

Responsibilities - Halton and Area Municipalities

Where guidance from external agencies or sources is limited regarding dealing with a spilled material, information will be provided by Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team to appropriate representatives of the Area Municipality in whose area the spill has occurred. Information pertaining to precautions to be taken and cleanup methods to be employed will be provided.

Area Municipality staff will cooperate with and take direction from personnel of the Halton Emergency Spill Response Team at the spill scene during all after hours responses and during normal working hours when response is requested by the Area Municipality.

Halton's jurisdiction extends to regional roads, storm sewers located on regional roads, all sanitary sewers, Water Treatment Plants and Wastewater Treatment Plants as well as Regional landfill sites.

The Area Municipalities' (Burlington External Link, Oakville External Link, Halton Hills External Link and Milton External Link) responsibility extends to local roads, storm sewers on local roads and all area creeks and receiving streams.

Final restoration of safe driving conditions on roads, where a spill has occurred, will remain the responsibility of the appropriate roads authority having jurisdiction.

When Does Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team Get Involved?

Outside normal working hour spills

All spills will be reported to Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team whereupon:

  1. The Ministry of Environment and Energy External Link will be notified.

  2. The Area Municipality Public Works Department will always be notified and may be requested to:

    • Send staff to meet and assist Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team staff
      OR

    • Send staff to assess the incident and notify Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team whether response is required.

Normal working hours

If the Area Municipality Public Works is notified first, Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team shall also be notified.

If Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team is notified first, the Area Municipality Public Works will also be notified.

In either situation, the following will occur:

  1. The Ministry of Environment and Energy External Link will always be notified by Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team.

  2. The Area Municipality Public Works will always respond.

  3. The Area Municipality Public Works will decide whether Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team should be called in to assist or to respond after the Area Municipality Public Works have investigated the spill.

  4. In cases of urgency, Halton's Emergency Spill Response Team staff will use their discretion as to whether to immediately respond to the spill.