What to do when you’ve had a fuel spill (Over the Road Vehicle Incidents)
This information is provided by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy to assist the public and regulated community.
Form #: WAT328 Other Revised: 1/14/21

When and how do I report a fuel spill?
  • Call NDEE M-F, 8-5 at 402-471-2186

  • Non-office hours, call the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) Dispatch at 402-479-4921. NSP will contact NDEE, who will call you back.

  • NDEE will ask you:

  • * when the spill occurred,
    * location of the spill,
    * amount spilled,
    * what has been done to contain or recover the spill, and
    * who is responsible for the spill.

Report & Clean up
According to Nebraska regulations (Title 126), fuel spills must be reported to NDEE and cleaned up.

This brochure provides some basic information that will help you comply when you have a fuel spill due to a transportation accident.

What fuel spills need to be reported?
  • A spill larger than 25 gallons to the land surface
  • A spill of any amount that enters surface water

What is considered fuel?
  • Diesel, gasoline, or any petroleum product

Who is responsible for reporting and cleaning up the spill?
  • The owner or operator of the vehicle the fuel spilled from is responsible, in most cases.

What will NDEE do after the initial spill report?
  • NDEE will determine if the spill is under control.
  • NDEE will determine if additional immediate actions are needed.
  • If necessary, NDEE will contact other agencies if additional resources are needed to respond.
  • NDEE will provide you a notification number to confirm the spill has been reported.

Why is it important to quickly control a fuel spill?
  • Oil and fuel on the road can cause a slick surface that is a traffic hazard.
  • Spilled fuel can be a fire hazard.
  • Vapors from the spilled fuel can be a health hazard to the public.
  • Spilled fuel can cause property damage.
  • Spilled fuel can harm surface water and ground water.

What can I do to minimize the harm caused by a fuel spill?
  • Call 911. First Responders are often trained to deal with fuel spills.
  • Stop the leak. First Responders may also be able to plug or patch the leak.
  • Contain the spill. Absorbent material (Hi-Dri or similar) may be used to keep the fuel from spreading.
  • Protect drains and surface water. Place material between the spill and a drain or surface water to stop fuel from reaching the drain or surface water.
  • Cover the spill.
NOTE! Avoid putting water on a fuel spill as it only further spreads the spill.
  • Sand, soil, or absorbent material can be placed over the spill to control vapors.
    • If Hi-Dri or other clay-based material is used on a road, sweep it up right away and put it in containers so it doesn’t make the road surface slippery.
    • A fire department may cover a gasoline spill with foam to control flammable vapors.
  • Contact your insurance carrier to determine if you have pollution and/or spill coverage.
    • Your insurance carrier may send an adjuster or cleanup contractor right away.

What do I do after I have reported the spill?
  • Clean up the spill. The sooner, the better.

What do I do after the spill has been cleaned up?
  • Send a written report to NDEE. Title 126 requires a report that includes details about the spill, as well as the cleanup efforts.
    • Who performed the cleanup and when was cleanup complete
    • How much soil/rock/other was excavated and where was it disposed
    • A statement that all spilled fuel and contaminated soils were recovered
    • If all fuel/soil could not be recovered, an explanation as to why
    • A drawing depicting the spill area and photographs (not required, but helpful)

Mail the report to:
P.O. Box 98922
Lincoln, NE 68509-8922

What happens if I don’t clean up the fuel spill?
  • NDEE will send you a “Notice of Violation” letter, which could lead to fines.
  • NDEE may hire a contractor to clean up the spill.
    • If NDEE hires a contractor, you can expect to receive a bill for the cost of the cleanup

Who do I contact if I have questions?
  • Call NDEE at (402) 471-2186
  • Ask for the Petroleum Remediation Section for questions about spill reporting and cleanup
  • Ask for the Waste Management Section for questions about soil disposal
  • Visit the NDEE Web Page for more fuel spill questions and answers: http://dee.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/PSS

Specialized Spill Cleanup Contractors, March 2019

NDEE does not endorse or certify any of the contractors on this list. This list is not all-inclusive. This list is provided as a courtesy to spillers wishing contact information for cleanup contractors who regularly do this type of work (contractors listed in alphabetical order). A full list of environmental contractors is available on the NDEE website.

Environmental Restoration LLC
Location: Omaha, NE
24 hour phone number: 888-814477
https://erllc.com/ *

Environmental Solutions, Inc.
Location: Omaha, NE
24 hour phone number: 402-896-3600
http://ww.esilink.com *

Haz-Mat Response
Locations: North Platte, NE; Gretna, NE;
Windsor, CO; and Great Bend, KS

24 hour phone number: 1-800-229-5252
htttp://haz-matresponse.com/wp/ *

Midwest Towing & Recovery
Location: Lincoln, NE
24 hour phone number: 402-489-7979

* This webpage contains links to non-NDEE websites, these links will open in a new tab or window