Spill Plans and Response


Spill Response

If a spill or release of a chemical, petroleum-based product or a hazardous substance occurs at UK, Environmental Quality Management Department (EQM) provides an around-the-clock on-call service that can be called upon for assistance. However, if an incident does occur, those in charge of the substance should be able to quickly respond to those instances of spills of relatively small quantities.  It is difficult to place a precise volume on what constitutes a “small” spill and it may well vary from substance to substance and location-to-location.  It includes an amount that the individual feels capable to address and is prepared to handle in terms of experience, training and access to clean-up materials. 

In those instances that the volume exceeds a small manageable amount, then the EQM is prepared to respond to assist.  EQM may be contacted during regular business hours at its main line 323-6280 or after hours by dialing 911 from any on-campus phone or by contacting the UK Police at 257-UKPD (8573).  EQM’s response time is 1 hour or less.

Lastly, there may be those instances in which the spill exceeds the resources of EQM and in those cases the Lexington Fire Department or outside commercial resources will be contacted.


Spill Reporting

Depending upon the type and quantity of substance released, there may be regulatory reporting requirements that must be met.  These reporting requirements are to be “immediate” so EQM should be contacted if there is any uncertainty in reporting applicability.  The following are some of the common reporting requirements:

  • Release of gasoline or other petroleum products such as oils in quantities greater than 25 gallons.
  • Release of diesel in quantities greater than 75 gallons.
  • Release that creates a visible sheen on surface waters.
  • Release a reportable quantity (RQ) of any extremely hazardous substance or of a hazardous substance as defined by CERCLA and listed in Appendix A 40 CFR Part 355.


Spill Planning

To make adequate provision for responding to spills in a timely, comprehensive and safe manner, there are several planning documents described below that cover specific substances and activities at UK.



Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan

Federal law mandates the establishment of procedures, methods and equipment for entities that manage certain quantities of oil. The Environmental Quality Management Department is responsible for coordinating the preparation of Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plans – find out more about these plans that form an integral foundation for addressing potential releases of oil into the nearby waterways.

Groundwater Protection Plans

Groundwater in the Commonwealth is a unique and vital resource and Kentucky has established a regulation to ensure its protection. One of the requirements of this regulation is the development and availability of a Groundwater Protection Plan. Find out more about these plans and the best management practices they define.

Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act is a federal law created for community-wide planning for the storage, use and releases of hazardous substances. UK maintains an active role in such local planning and the Environmental Quality Management Department coordinates the assessment of planning needs as well as the formulation of the final plans. Find out more about these important emergency response plans.