Hazardous materials spill prevention and reporting

All hazardous materials spills must be reported promptly. Follow the instructions below to determine the appropriate reporting procedure depending on the location and nature of the spill.

In the sections below, find information on how to

Prepare a SPCC prior to construction

All construction contractors must prepare a project specific SPCC plan prior to any construction activity. SPCC plans must be kept up-to-date and be immediately available on every Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) project.

Refer to the following documents to develop a SPCC plan. 

For contractors

  • SPCC Plan Template (docx 107 kb) – Use this template to create an SPCC Plan. 
  • Example Site Map (pdf 71 kb) – SPCC Plans require a project site map that indicates the location of certain features, including drainage pathways, waterways, hazardous materials, and spill prevention and response equipment. 
  • WSDOT Construction web page – Visit this webpage to find more information about WSDOT specifications, amendments, and general special provisions.
  • Standard Specifications – Reference specification 1-07.15(1) to ensure your plan includes all the necessary requirements for spill prevention, control, and countermeasures.
  • Section 3406 of the International Fire Code – Find temporary fuel storage requirements in this publication, available through the WSDOT library. 

For WSDOT reviewers

WSDOT reviews SPCC plans to ensure compliance.

WSDOT staff who review SPCC plans must first complete the online SPCC reviewer training

  • SPCC Plan Checklist (docx 35 kb) – Use this checklist to determine if the contractor has prepared an SPCC Plan that satisfies the requirements of WSDOT Standard Specification 1‑07.15 (1) for Road, Bridge, and Municipal Construction.
  • Spill Plan Reviewers Guidance (pdf 1.2 mb) – Read this document to understand the requirements of a spill prevention plan. 


Report spills and underground storage tank discoveries

Contractors must report all environmental incidents including spills, contaminated soil, and discoveries of underground storage tanks (UST) during construction to the Project Engineer (PE).

The PE should use Chapter 1, SS 1-07.5, of the WSDOT Construction Manual - Environmental Compliance Assurance Procedure (ECAP) when completing the spill reporting process and taking steps to notify WSDOT management and regulatory agencies.

The Regulatory Reporting Requirements Flow Chart (pdf 111 kb) outlines the reporting process.

If your spill involves an underground storage tank, visit the WSDOT underground storage tank webpage. ​

Contractors should use these documents to report a spill:

  • Spill Report Form (doc 32 kb) – When a spill or release occurs, use this form to report the incident to Ecology.
  • Ecology spill web page – Refer to this webpage for an explanation of how to report spills to the Department of Ecology.

Contaminated soil and water

When contaminated soil or water is found before or during construction, or a leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) is encountered, the WSDOT PE must coordinate with a WSDOT Hazardous Materials (HazMat) specialist to determine if the site is a Models Toxics Control Act (MTCA) cleanup site. Reporting requirements depend on the severity of the contamination and land ownership.

If there may be a threat to human health or the environment and the WSDOT owns or operates the site, the PE must report the contamination to Ecology within 90 days (per WAC 173.340-300). Releases from USTs must be reported by the owner or operator within 24 hours of release confirmation.

If you spill or observe oil or hazardous substances in water, immediately call both

  1. 1-800-258-5990 (Washington Department of Emergency Management)
  2. 1-800-424-8802 (U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center)

Oil includes:

  • Petroleum oils, such as gasoline and diesel
  • Synthetic oils, such as mechanical lubricants
  • Plant-based oils, such as cooking oils

Highway spills caused by the traveling public 

Anyone can report a spill to the Department of Ecology (Ecology).

Neither WSDOT nor its contractors are responsible for cleaning up spills that result from the traveling public. If the spill may be an immediate threat to human health or the environment (e.g., tank truck leaking into a water body), then qualified WSDOT staff should take reasonable actions to contain the spill until the police or Ecology arrive on the scene. Reasonable actions depend upon the expertise of the WSDOT staff at the scene and the materials that are available to them.

Follow the procedures on our Reporting spills & eliminating illicit discharges webpage to report spills that might affect WSDOT’s stormwater drainage system and receiving water bodies.