Reporting and preventing spills

If you or your company were responsible for a substance that has spilled on public or private property, provincial law states that you must report the spill immediately. If a flammable, poisonous, corrosive or explosive material gets spilled, it can be unsafe for people and the environment.

To report a spill, call the Provincial Spills Action Centre toll free at 1-800-268-6060.

Cleaning up spills

Mississauga works hard to prevent environmental damage from spills. If spilled material enters a storm drain, spill clean-up will involve:

  • Tracing the spill back to its source for full clean up
  • Containing and removing the spilled material
  • Restoring any damaged lands and infrastructure
  • Managing cost recovery

The polluter will be charged for the work involved to trace, cleanup and restore property and infrastructure after a spill.

Preventing spills at your business

If your business involves solid or liquid wastes, it is your responsibility to properly manage those materials that may harm the environment as per provincial waste regulation Reg. 347 made under the Environmental Protection Act.

The Storm Sewer By-law also contains requirements for companies about managing materials which may harm the environment.

Your company must comply with provincial law and municipal by-laws at all times.

Spills at businesses often occur during transportation and handling of waste or hazardous materials. These are some of the things you can do to help prevent a spill:

Create a spill response plan

Create a plan to clean up spills quickly and safely. The plan should include:

Store materials safely

  • Make sure materials stored outside are protected from the elements
  • Clearly mark and manage any hazardous materials
  • Create secondary containment barriers such as permanent or mobile berms, capture containers or a dedicated area that will stop runoff from entering a ditch or catchbasin
  • Keep the site and materials are secure from non-authorized entry

Follow waste management protocols

  • Train staff regularly
  • Conduct regular inspections of the site
  • Keep accurate records to know where liquids are stored and how they’re handled
  • Track deliveries and waste disposal according to Province of Ontario regulations

Learn more about pollution prevention for your business.

Report spills right away

Spills must be reported immediately according to the Environmental Protection Act and the Storm Sewer Use By-law. To report a spill call the Provincial Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060.

The longer it takes to report a spill, the harder and more costly it will be to clean up.

Failing to report a spill carries a significant fine, and can increase the liability of your company for downstream damages.