Hazardous Materials & the Risk of Spring Flooding

Spring Freshet brings an increased risk of flooding from high snow packs that have accumulated in most regions of the province. Businesses and residents should ensure that plans and actions are in place to safeguard all hazardous materials stored in locations which may be subject to flooding.

Hazardous materials pose a risk to both human health and our environment. It is important that businesses and residents adequately assess the risk posed by hazardous materials they possess and take the necessary precautions to avoid flooding related spills.

The Ministry of Environment suggests some possible actions:

  • Identify hazardous materials that are being stored in a flood plain
  • Ensure these materials are securely and safely stored
  • Implement mitigation strategies to prevent the release of hazardous materials to the environment
    examples:
    • put secondary containment measures in place should primary storage be compromised
    • move, or have plans to move, hazardous materials to a safer location
  • Properly dispose of all hazardous materials that are no longer needed

Owners and transporters of hazardous materials are directly responsible for the cleanup and remediation of spills regardless of the cause. It is therefore important that persons in possession of hazardous materials protect themselves by conducting a thorough hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment to prevent spills from occurring in the first place.