Even when not required by environmental regulations, the following best practices are recommended. In some instances, best practices presented here are required by regulations.
Vehicle and Equipment Fueling
Your facility may have a fueling system (diesel, gasoline, etc.) for vehicles or equipment that includes underground storage tanks (USTs). To minimize the potential for fuel spills and leaks and reduce their potential to enter the storm sewer system, implement the following best practices:
- Cover catch basins with storm drain covers while fueling.
- Make certain that spill kits containing dry, absorbent materials for spill response are located near the area of fueling and that staff are trained in their use.
- Ensure that fuel transfers from/to vehicle fuel tanks and/or underground storage tanks are monitored by an attendant.
- Provide spill response training for personnel (in most states this is required by law).
- Post signs that give fueling instructions, spill response procedures, emergency contact information and best practices.
- Check loading/unloading equipment (valves, pumps, flanges, and connections) regularly for leaks. Replace worn or broken equipment.
Outdoor Handling of Material
To minimize the likelihood of discharge of pollutants to storm drains from outdoor loading and unloading of material into/from USTs, adhere to the following best practices:
- Transfer liquids only in paved areas. Portland cement paving should be used if the liquid is asphalt reactive.
- Provide contractors and haulers with copies of pertinent best management practices (BMPs). Require contractor/hauler adherence to BMP specifications.
- Protect all loading/unloading activities from rainfall, run-on and wind dispersal to the maximum extent possible.
- Maintain adequate and accessible supplies of spill response equipment and materials near areas where spills may likely occur.
- Clean up minor spills immediately.
- Conduct regular inspections of storage and containment equipment and promptly correct deficiencies to this equipment as necessary.
Waste Handling and Disposal
Best practices related to waste handling and disposal include the following suggested activities:
- Perform regular housekeeping activities in waste storage areas.
- Reuse or recycle materials whenever possible.
- Inspect waste management areas for spills and waste management containers for leaks.
- Track waste generated, evaluate the process generating the waste and look for ways to reduce waste generation.
- Characterize waste streams.
- Find substitutes for harmful chemicals; properly dispose of unusable chemical inventory.
- Segregate and separate wastes.
- Do not dispose of liquid wastes such as oils or hazardous materials into dumpsters.
- Maintain adequate supplies of spill response equipment and materials in accessible locations near areas where spills may be likely to occur.
- Equip waste transport vehicles with spill containment equipment.
- Perform and document in a logbook periodic inspections of hazardous and non-hazardous waste storage areas. Refer to the regulatory content section of this part of the tour for detailed inspection requirements.
Training employees on proper procedures to reduce your facility's impact on the environment is a best practice. More detailed training information is provided in the regulatory requirements sections of the tour. Employee training may include the following:
- Spill response training for personnel who handle hazardous material,
- Fork lift training,
- Stormwater pollution prevention education,
- Right-to-know awareness training,
- Hazardous materials management,
- Emergency preparedness, and
- Awareness-level training, for example, a general overview of the school's environmental management system.