Hazardous Materials/Waste Contingency Plan

Response to emergency spills

In the event of a hazardous material spill on the Missouri State campus, the first person who becomes aware of the problem will immediately follow these procedures:

  1. Warn fellow workers and supervisors.
  2. Evacuate the area.
  3. Notify the Hazardous Waste Coordinator (Director of Environmental Management) at 417-836-8334, and the Safety & Transportation Department at 417-836-5509.
  4. Take action to contain the spill if possible, without jeopardizing personal well-being.
  5. Environmental Management will be responsible for all other notifications.

Laboratory spills

If the spill can be cleaned up safely, take action to neutralize or absorb the spill without jeopardizing personal well-being. Small spills of caustic waste can generally be cleaned up by lab technicians and instructors. Care should be taken to use appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) when necessary to prevent burns to skin or damage to clothing. Rubber gloves are provided in the spill kits and safety glasses are available in the laboratories.

When responding to spills it is important to prevent inhalation of fumes that may be toxic or have harmful health effects. When in doubt, the Hazardous Waste Coordinator should be contacted for guidance or assistance. Proper respiratory wear should be used for organics and fuming acids. If unsure what to do, those involved in or discovering the spill should evacuate the room to prevent exposure, exercising the greatest amount of care to prevent health risks.

Spill kits are provided in the Chemistry laboratories in Temple Hall and in Kemper 109. The kits contain absorbent material, baking soda for neutralizing acids, rubber gloves and a broom and dust pan. There is a plastic bag for the clean up material from small spills.

For larger spills, the Hazardous Waste Coordinator will coordinate the clean up and removal of the waste material. If the spill cannot be safely contained, neutralized, or absorbed, he or she will notify the Fire Department HAZMAT team.

Sewage spills/overflows

Steps should be taken immediately to contain the spilled material: Dri-sorb, straw, sand, mulch, or other inert materials can be used. Liquid waste should be recovered and disposed of into the sanitary sewers as long as there are minimal solids. The spill area and contaminated absorbent material should be sprayed with a bleach solution. The contaminated absorbent material can then be bagged and placed into the dumpster.

The Hazardous Waste Coordinator will be responsible for the following notifications:

  1. Determining which regulatory agencies (if any) require notification of the release and make necessary reports.
  2. Acting as liaison with regulatory personnel who may respond to the scene.
  3. Assisting in procuring the service of a certified cleanup contractor when required in a major event.

The Missouri State University staff person first observing the spill or responding to it is only responsible for containing the spill. They will not clean up the material if it is greater than 5 gallons.

Petroleum spills

Any petroleum spill or product release of greater than 50 gallons must, according to Missouri state law, be reported to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (573-634-2436). Further, federal law requires the reporting of any petroleum spill if it reaches or threatens any waterway. The definition of waterway includes, among other things, sewers, groundwater, and road ditches that drain into other waterways.

Spills on the campus of Missouri State University should be immediately contained when possible. All spills must be promptly reported by calling the Radio Communications Center (RCC) at 417-836-5509. RCC will notify the Director of Environmental Management and Public Safety who will respond and assess the incident.

Small spills should be controlled by using absorbent materials available from Environmental Management. If the absorbent is not immediately available, other materials such as sand, dirt, straw, or kitty litter may be used to contain the material.

For larger spills and spills threatening waterways, including possible discharges into storm drains, absorbent booms should be used to contain the material. Booms are available from Environmental Management and are also located in Public Safety vehicles. In the absence of booms, other absorbent material should be appropriately placed to contain the material and prevent entry into waterways or storm sewers. A spill response company will then be contacted to remove the contained material and contaminated debris.

If the spill is major enough that it cannot be easily contained, RCC should immediately contact the Springfield Emergency Services (911) and the Director of Environmental Management who will contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Springfield Public Works Department (417-864-1900). The University has a spill response contractor on call for major spills.


When necessary, decontamination will be provided by the Environmental Management department or an outside contractor, depending upon the chemicals involved, materials contaminated, and the extent of contamination. Decontamination equipment will be purchased as necessary with Environmental Management funds.