Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Contaminated Sites

Home Owner Tips for Handling Small Fuel Spills

On July 6, 2013, Contaminated Sites Regulations came into effect in the province. Please review the "Fact Sheet for Homeowners" which will assist you in understanding your responsibilities under these Regulations.

If a small leak of a petroleum product (ie. gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, etc) is discovered under your car, heating oil tank, furnace, etc., place a small pail or pan under the leak and stop the leak if it is safe to do so without causing further damage.

If the leak cannot be safely stopped or controlled, contact appropriate maintenance personnel (ie. service repair technician) immediately.

If the leak cannot be contained in a pail or pan, try to prevent the spill from spreading. This can be done by creating barriers (small dams), blocking floor drains and soaking up the spill using absorbents such as kitty litter.

Protective gloves and safety glasses should be worn when working with fuel products.

Never flush or dispose of fuel down the drain.

Any material used to soak up/absorb a petroleum product and any impacted soil, must be disposed of at an approved facility. Please contact Environment and Labour for a listing of approved facilities. Do not dispose of fuel soaked materials in the trash. These materials are flammable and can be hazardous to the environment.

If the leak occurs inside a closed area such as a basement, garage, shed, etc., open doors and windows to allow fresh air in and/or leave the building.

A routine maintenance program may help prevent fuel spills before they happen.

Fuel spills greater than 100 litres are required by law to be reported to Nova Scotia Environment. Smaller fuel spills that can damage the environment are also required to be reported.