Spill Response Training Federal Clean Water Act

November 24, 2012

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Spill Response Training

John: Hi, I’m John. I’m here to talk about proper use of spill kits in the Seattle city limits due to the Federal Clean Water Act. The city needs to stay in compliance in order to receive its permits for the…should I just be talking to you or to the camera? Ok, I’ll just talk to you. The city needs to stay in compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act. And in an effort to make that happen, we’re giving out these free spill kits to businesses. You can have up to 2 through this program, and I can bring a second one in, if you like. These are meant to curtail the small amount of contaminants that end up getting in the bodies of water, and that’s where the bulk of the pollution coming into the Puget Sound and the Duwamish River (in your case) come from; it’s small contaminants, small amounts of contaminants. It’s not big, 50 gallon dumps; it’s a little bit of bleach, it’s a little bit of ammonia.
John Shearer: Everything in the SODO district goes through Duwamish.

John: Everything in SODO district – there’s a few little quirks, but yes, for the most part, it goes through the Duwamish River. In fact, in your case, it definitely goes through the Duwamish River. I’ll show you that in a minute.
These are storm drains. These are exactly what we want to preserve. Nothing but rain should go down here – no other liquids, no other solids. That includes dirt – a sediment impairs the way those drains work. Oils can get into the storm drain if the sediment gets up too high. And any sediment that gets in the river, ends up creating a bigger problem for the critters that live there.
JS: Have we identified all the drains on our property?
John: I have them site-mapped, I’m gonna show you that.
JS: Oh, perfect, thank you. We can walk through after we get done?
John: Absolutely, yeah.
JS: Great.
John: The biggest and most important thing to properly maintain drains is a.) Don’t use your hoses as a broom. Sweep up, bag that stuff, and throw it away. Occasionally, something needs to be cleaned up and we get that, but it’s really important that everything on site, for the most part, happens with a broom and a dust pan.
JS: So, to paraphrase what you’re saying, if we have debris that we’re creating, let’s first try to clean it up and not hose it down the drain.
John: Correct. Absolutely.

Summary of Federal Clean Water Act

JS: Ok.
John: Absolutely. Also, these are both really simple measures, close your dumpsters or your trash cans, because anything that’s in a trash can or a dumpster…they’re never leak-proof, there’s always some leak coming out, and anything that’s in that trash that gets water on it, the contaminant can get through the water, get through a small leak, and gets down the storm drain.
So, it’s a really simple and cost-effective way to help preserve the water quality in this area, just by closing up your dumpsters.
I’ve created a spill plan for you. This should be posted wherever this lives. It’s a great thing to keep a dedicated space somewhere in your facility where all employees can know where they’ll find this spill kit. And if you’re gonna have them go out with them in the field, make sure that they have access to these numbers, and I can give you more copies of this spill plan for every truck if you need that.
JS: Ok, thank you.
John: Sure.
JS: It’s laminated, too.
John: It is laminated – it’s great. It’s a great thing to post on a wall. If you take a look at this, it just gives you a bunch of checks on fluids that might end up going down the storm drain based on the work that you do here.
This isn’t necessarily everything – so if somebody spills Coke, they should probably clean it up…but it’s not the end of the world. If they spill some ammonia (which isn’t on here), that should definitely get cleaned up before it gets to the storm drain, and I’ll show you how to do that when you look at this.
This is your site map; and this is a two-sided item, and I’ll show you the back in a moment. The pink right here is the laminated site map – the site property, right here. This is you. The dark blue are your storm drains, the green are the sanitary sewer lines, and all the little blue dots on there are storm drains, there are some right out front, there are some right up the road over here…anything that goes in those storm drains are going through these blue lines, all the way out here to the Duwamish River. Although, this is just a portion of the Duwamish River – that’s Harbor Island. Anything in this yellow map right here, the yellow, highlighted portion of the map, drains to the Duwamish. These areas right here go to the combined sewer, but that’s not really relevant for this conversation. That is your site right there. Because of the water quality in the Duwamish River, it’s really important that we keep all the small spills cleaned up now, because it’s a super fun site, and they’re gonna start cleaning it up soon, and it’s billions of dollars required to clean that river up because of years of industries. We wanted good economies – the city needs good businesses to feed it with tax revenue…the city needs good businesses to feed them through their paychecks…we want businesses to exist, but we also need to make sure that these waterways stay clean, and that’s the biggest reason why that river is as polluted as it is now.
So, both of these would be great to post on the wall, somewhere near the spill kit. And, like I said, I can get you some of these – this is not gonna be important to field staff, but this probably would be.
JS: Okay.
John: Also, on here is a list of telephone numbers. As good neighbors, you should probably know that if you see somebody spilling something on the street, it’s not your job to clean it up, certainly go out and help if you can, but the least you can do is call The Department of Transportation or Seattle Public Utilities and let them know that that happened as soon as possible.
Anything that happens here on-site that you have questions about how to dispose of, once you’ve used the spill kit, you can call the Hazardous Waste line here and the Water Quality hotline. Both of them can help you with that. And so those numbers are here on the side. It also has a list of telephone numbers (it’s your telephone number), who should be notified within the company, should a spill happen.
So, we’ll get on to the spill kit itself. As I said, John, I can get two of these if you want an extra one – I’ll bring one in right now.
These do not have the standard opening top, they have a latch – you can push this latch in…can you see that?
JS: Yep.

Clean water Act on Wikipedia
John: And then turn…if you don’t, it’s like a medicine bottle, and it will not open. You can also pop these off with a screwdriver if you don’t want that latch, but having that latch makes it really handy for disposing of hazardous materials, so I would recommend that you keep that on, because it’s a handy bucket with that latch on.
Once you open it up, you’ll find this. It’s really great to post on a wall – redundancy’s a helpful thing. Even though that sticker appears right here, it’s good to have this on the wall. Once you know you need to replenish this, you know where to put it.
Should you spill something particularly nasty, and you can’t stand the smell or don’t want it touching your skin, this comes with goggles and latex gloves…it also comes with a drain puller. These are really handy when you need to open up storm drains.
JS: Awesome.
John: What you do with this, you slide it between the rails here – lift out.
JS: Easy to do.
John: It sounds very easy, doesn’t it? They’re very heavy. And often times…
JS: Do you know how to do it?
John: I can, but it’s not something the city really wants us to do on a regular basis, they just leave it intact. If there’s no need to seal it off, just leave it intact.
They are heavy. A lot of times, you can see in this photo, there is debris that has settled inside of this…right here, between the drain and the rim that it sits in. Wet and dry, wet and dry…it ends up getting pretty hard in there. It can be hard to pull out – you have to use some strength. But it is heavy, and those drains are deep. Also, have somebody help you, because you don’t want that drain to fall in the hole.
JS: So, is this relevant to us? Can we walk out there?
John: Absolutely. So, this drain definitely needs to be cleaned out. I can see the water, and that means it’s not draining out. So, this is essentially a sealed-off drain, and it’s probably on the city street. Well, it might not be. This is a quirky street. Like I said, the difference between street and parking lot is grade here. Let’s do this – in here, and you pull out. It is heavy, and it’s best to do this from the center, because, if you grab from one side, it tips over, that’s when it can fall in.
[This is where the sound cut in and out]
Once you’ve lifted that up…put the grill back on…that makes a tight seal.
…When you set it over that hole, in order to seal it up, before you put the grill back on, make sure that you know where that hole should be, because you won’t be able to see that hole…
So once you’ve opened those drains, and because you need the seal…there’s two plastic sheets in here. One is quite large.
…So, you’ve sealed off the storm drain. You wanna buy yourself some time in order to seal that drain up…this kit…these socks…they can overlap each other.
…So, that’s it.

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