Across the United States, businesses and towns have faced the severe impacts of chemical and oil spills. These spills date back decades, and their devastating effects are proof of the necessity of spill containment.
Reuters described the Keystone crude oil pipeline leak in South Dakota as “one of the largest U.S. inland spills since 2010,” and according to recent court documents analyzed by Click on Detroit, the Ford chemical spill in Livonia, Michigan reportedly resulted in an estimated 12 million gallons of underground contamination in the region.
The impact of industrial liquid spills can be destructive in many ways. The most obvious of these impacts being environmental; however, the impact of a spill can have consequences that go beyond this. The study, Consequences of oil spills from the journal, Ecology, and Society, analyzes the complex nature of oil spill disasters and draws the conclusion that industrial oil spills have negative impacts on the environment as well as on society and business.
Why use spill containment solutions?
- To prevent damage to the physical environment – The actual area where the spill occurs is affected by the release of chemicals, contaminating the groundwater and releasing harmful vapors into the air. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the effects of these spills can last decades as chemical and oil spills destroy wildlife habitats and breeding grounds, which can result in damages to the food chain. This can create a lasting effect on wildlife as well as on humans.
- To protect the biological ecosystem – The ecosystem present in the environment in and around the spill area is affected as well. Spills can take a massive toll and cause harm to plant, animal, insect and marine life. An example of this would be the lasting damages the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill had on wildlife in 2010. During this event, about 130 million gallons of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico before the well was capped over two months after the rig exploded. The explosion itself resulted in the death of 11 men, while the oil spill resulted in thousands of deaths among wildlife species including turtles, pelicans, and dolphins that lived in and near the region.
- To preserve human health and society – From the inhalation of harmful vapors to the contamination of food and water, the direct and indirect impact of a spill can be felt on the human population near the accident. According to Scientific American, some of these effects can include skin infections, respiratory issues, and even DNA damage. These damages combined with the contamination of food and water lead to unsafe living conditions for those affected in the region.
- To protect your business from legal implications – Apart from affecting everyone around the site, spills have a massive impact on businesses as well. As per the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, there are regulations in place for spill prevention and response protocols that companies need to follow. In addition, the company that causes the spill can be expected to incur a liability of up to $75 million in economic damages made due to the spill in addition to removal costs.
- To safeguard economy and policy – The damage caused to the local economy is massive. The direct impact such as the damage caused by the spill can negatively impact local fisheries and other businesses that depend on environmental stability. The indirect impact such as the spill’s effects on the functioning of businesses and tourism damages the economic ventures that help sustain the local economy.
Case Study: How we deployed rapid spill containment for a nuclear plant leak crisis
When your business is threatened by an unprecedented spill, and all safeguards have failed, you need a dependable partner with rock-solid expertise to resolve the spill quickly and efficiently. Ironclad Environmental Solutions recently demonstrated rapid containment for a reactor leak at a nuclear power plant.
When the cooling apparatus of a nuclear power plant in the Northeast United States stopped working, it led to a leak of wastewater and corrosive by-product into a containment area. The containment area soon began to overflow and encroach onto the rest of the plant, threatening a shutdown. We were called in at 3 a.m. Our representative worked with the nuclear plant team and delivered wastewater storage tanks to help contain the situation, mitigate the plant shutdown and avoid potential power outages that could have occurred throughout the city.
At Ironclad Environmental Solutions, we have decades of industry experience in primary and secondary spill containment solutions for a range of job site requirements. Our experts provide insights on what solutions are necessary for every size and type of job, and in the case of a crisis, you can always count on our 24-hour emergency response services to help with spill containment needs. Please contact us for any inquiries or request a quote today.