Spills & Environmental Incidents
Spills occur from time to time during the transporting, storing, and handling of materials. A spill is best described as an abnormal release of any substance, hazardous or non-hazardous, into the natural environment.
So...what does that mean?
- A spill is any substance that wouldn't occur naturally in the place it is found, regardless of it's toxicity or hazard concentration.
- Typically, spills involve oils, fuel, grease, paint, waste water, solvents, pesticides etc.
- Sometimes construction debris, dust, smoke, gasses / vapours, sewage, soils etc. are considered spills.
Spills that involve materials such as fuels (oil, diesel, or gasoline), paint, or other chemicals can be particularly harmful to the environment and residents. Materials can enter the natural environment:
- into local water bodies via storm sewers and ditches;
- directly to the earth or water bodies;
- into buildings and water treatment facilities via sewer laterals, mains and foundation drains; and,
- into the air via exhausts, ventilation systems, and chimneys.
A minor spill that occurs on private property on an asphalt, concrete or other impervious surface where it can be contained and cleaned up without leaving the property, can be considered a "housekeeping" spill, and does not need to be reported to City staff.
Who to Contact
If you suspect there has been a spill to the natural environment, contact the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Spills Action Center at 1-800-268-6060.
Illegal dumping that occurs within the City of Kingston has the potential to harm the environment and incurs unnecessary expenses to the City. It is an offense under City bylaws to dump waste materials such as garbage or construction and demolition debris on City properties, road ways, and right-of-ways. In addition, city bylaws prohibit the disposal of wastes into storm sewer catch basins and ditches. The City takes these illegal actions very seriously and will prosecute offenders whenever possible.
Who to Contact
If you see someone dumping waste materials into storm sewers, onto City roadways or right-of-ways, please report it immediately. City environment staff can be reached during normal operating hours at 613-546-4291 ext. 1368 or 1249. After-hours, contact the Spills Action Center at 1-800-268-6060.