February 7, 2013
USU takes safety measures to prevent potential spills that could result in environmental harm
USU’s Environmental Health and Safety division in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies is currently updating USU’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plans (SPCC) to determine the potential escape of organic materials from the campus to the waterways of the country.
The SPCC is a law enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency in response to some of the spills that have been recurring in the United States, said Eric Jorgensen, assistant director of EHS. At USU, EHS is responsible for taking inventory of all containers that contain more than 55 gallons of organic materials. The locations for these containers are mapped and the amount of organic materials within each container is recorded. This data gathering process is important to ensure that the updated plan includes all the steps that should be taken if a spill occurs.
“We have a whole bunch of containers scattered throughout campus,” said Jorgensen. “Every building on campus has an emergency generator and every generator contains at least 200 gallons of diesel fuel. We are doing our best to ensure that organic materials do not leak from their containers.”
“The back up generators are essential to make sure that we don’t lose any research in case the power goes out,” said Steve Bilbao, director of EHS.
In addition to generators, EHS is also keeping track of the following inventory:
• Diesel fuel in storage tanks connected to generators
• Dielectric fluid in transformers as coolant
• Hydraulic fluid to move elevators
• Cooking oil used by eateries on campus
• All other permanent, non-mobile fuel tanks (motor pool, facilities, farms, etc.)
The Environmental Health and Safety Office is a service organization that provides expertise and advice for compliance with federal, state and local safety and health regulations, as well as current professional practices and guidelines.
- Nadiah Johari
The emergency generator shown in the picture above contains 200 gallons of diesel fuel. An EHS work-study student is recording information such as the size of the container, the location as well as other information
These transformers contain between 700-1,500 gallons of diesel fuel
The emergency generator and transformers are housed underground, below the side walk between the TSC and Old Main building, on the west side of the Widtsoe Hall. The emergency generator is located right below the two students seen in the picture and the transformers are located under the grating on the right side of the picture