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Secondary containment involves the use of barriers, berms, or other containers that prevent the spread of leaks and spills. Secondary spill prevention- like a mobile truck spill containment systems- is necessary for facilities that use, store, or transport hazardous materials ranging from oil to hydraulic fluid. If the container or storage unit used to hold a harmful substance fails, secondary containment units can help to mitigate the impact that the discharge of those harmful substances would have on personnel or the environment.

Secondary containment requirements also apply to vehicles that use, store, or transport oil, oil-related products, or other hazardous liquids. Facilities are required to take steps to prevent or mitigate the impact of hazardous liquid discharge from vehicles which means having a response plan and the proper equipment to combat leaks and spills.

Knowing how to respond to an incident, or what equipment is necessary to do so can be complicated. To help you find the vehicle spill containment solutions that you need, here is a breakdown of the spill containment regulations for vehicles, the proper methods of spill prevention and mitigation, and a general description of the most effective tools to use when responding to vehicle spills.

Regulations for Vehicle Spill Prevention

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires facilities that store in excess of 1,320 gallons of oil in above-ground containers to have a spill prevention control and countermeasures (SPCC) plan. This regulation may or may not include facilities where vehicles use, store, or transport oil or other hazardous substances. The EPA additionally requires all facilities to report a one-time oil spill that exceeds 1000 gallons or two spills in a single year that exceeds 42 gallons.

If the discharge of hazardous materials occurs, the U.S. Department of Transportation requires that those incidents be reported under section 49 CFR Parts 171-180 of the hazardous materials regulation guidelines. To report a leak or spill involving hazardous substances, facilities must contact the National Response Center (NRC) within twelve hours of the incident. 

For a more detailed outline of what hazardous materials must be reported in the event of a spill or leak, refer to the Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Guidebook from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  

Finally, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires facilities that store hazardous materials to have a Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response plan (HAZWOPER). When it comes to the various regulations concerning vehicles and spill containment, the common denominator is that facilities must have the proper plans and equipment in place in order to respond to the release of oils or other hazardous liquids that could harm personnel or the environment.  

How To Mitigate the Transportation Spills

Responding to spills or leaks can be done in several ways. One common method of mitigating the discharge of harmful liquids is to use a spill kit. A spill kit contains absorbent materials—like pads or pillows—that can soak up liquids, personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves or goggles that will reduce the risk of injury when responding to a spill, neutralizing materials like sodium bicarbonate, and a receptacle to put absorbent clothes or waste into. 

Spill kits can be an effective way to respond to spills and leaks, but they also require training and personnel that can effectively use them.

Secondary spill containment berms could also be used to mitigate the spread of liquids in the event of a spill or leak. A containment berm is a spill containment solution that is designed to be rapidly deployed in an emergency. A lite-duty spill berm is a spill container that can be unfolded and set up to retain spillage in seconds. The advantage of a spill berm is that it is easy to use and requires almost no time to set up or specialized training to use.

Berms are designed for a variety of applications. For over 25 years, Basic Concepts has manufactured secondary spill containment solutions that are effective and easy to use. Here is a look at some of our most popular secondary spill containment options for mitigating leaks and spills discharged from vehicles.

Rigid-Lock QuickBerm Lite. The Rigid-Lock QuickBerm Lite is a portable containment berm that can be rapidly deployed in response to emergency leaks or spills. The patented wall supports of the Rigid-Lock maximize the usable space inside the berm, and a 90-degree lock of the steel braces provide optimal structural integrity. The Rigid-Lock features a one-piece construction that allows users to set up the berm quickly in response to emergency situations. Not only does the Rigid-Lock deploy quickly, but it easily folds into a compact size for effective storage.

The black support hub of the Rigid-Lock QuickBerm Lite is constructed from high-strength engineered nylon that can withstand 40 mph winds. When in the down position, the supports of the Rigid-Lock can withstand vehicle weight of up to 11,000 pounds at each tire. The tough EnGuard™I PVC coated fabric of the Rigid-Lock also provides UV protection and chemical resistance. For a durable, lightweight, and easy-to-handle secondary spill containment solution, the Rigid-Lock QuickBerm Lite is ideal. 

Inside Support QuickBerm Lite. For on-the-go service professionals, the Inside Support QuickBerm Lite is the perfect option. The Inside Support QuickBerm easily folds down into a small enough size to fit into spill kits or vehicles while still providing quality spill containment that is equal to larger berms. The Inside Support QuickBerm Lite is constructed of an EnGuard™I PVC coated fabric that offers UV protection and chemical resistance. The advantage of the inside supports on this berm is that they can reduce trips and falls often caused by the outside supports of traditional berms.

For personal or sensitive equipment, the Inside Support QuickBerm can be combined with an optional grate to reduce contact. The Inside Support QuickBerm Lite is available in multiple sizes and will help facilities comply with EPA regulations for spill containment.