Hazardous Materials

Most people know that hazardous material spills such as oil, gas, and chemicals are a significant hazard to wildlife and human health. Even so, spills go undetected or are not reported.

Stanley Diesel Oil Spill, December 2011

  • A diesel generator was being refueled
  • The spill detection system failed
  • 1,650 gallons of diesel oil overflowed from the diesel tank and spilled into the basement of Stanley Hall
  • 850 gallons of this oil made its way into the storm drain system and into Strawberry Creek
  • 8 hours passed before anybody reported the spill!

By the time EH&S was notified, most of the diesel had already made its way to the Bay, which made cleanup much more difficult. The University spent over $1 million on cleanup costs and fines.

What can I do?

Report a hazardous spill immediately! Call (510) 642-3073

A hazardous materials spill may be happening if you:

  • smell gas or a chemical odor (ignore the gingko trees)
  • see a sheen on the water’s surface
  • see lots of suds on a non-storm day

Don't know? Call us anyway!

What UC Berkeley is doing?

UC Berkeley has regular staff training, Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) for all applicable construction sites, and is in the process of upgrading our creek monitoring stations to include oil spill detection and an alert system.