Skip to main content
CFAES Safety and Compliance home

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

Petroleum, Fertilizer, and Pesticide Spill Response

In agricultural operations, it is common for petroleum products to be stored or used in agricultural equipment. Agricultural petroleum products can include; engine oil, hydraulic oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline. All petroleum products that are stored shall follow regulatory standards or guidelines for spill prevention and containment. Agricultural equipment poses an additional risk of a spill because of the mobile nature, mechanical parts, and petroleum capacities of the equipment. Spills from agricutlrual equipment can happen on or off - site of the facility and causes include: hose rupture, fitting failure, nozzle malfuntion, compartment / tank rupture, or equipment rollover.

The same is true for the use of fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural operations. Fertilizers and pesticides can be stored or applied with equipment in mass quantities on the farm. These products can come in several forms that include; liquid, dry granular, anhydrous ammonia, and livestock manure. All fertilizers and pesticides that are stored and applied shall follow regulatory standards or guidelines for application, as well as spill prevention and containment.

Chemical spill prevention and spill response procedures should be a part of a facility's overall emergency response plan. All agricultural spills, regardless of size, must be contained and cleaned up in a safe and effective manner. Spills that affect or threaten public health, welfare, or the environment should be attended to immediately by protecting human safety, containing the spill and cleaning up the spilled substance. Any response by employees should be conducted pursuant to the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response regulations, 29 CFR 1910.120.

All employees of agricultural operations should be trained to identify an emergency response incident (i.e., major or minor spills, potential for fire, etc.), who to call for remediation assistance, and/or evacuation routes. If employees are to participate in the remediation (i.e., spill clean up, etc.), those employees must be trained to perform the necessary tasks. Employees must also know which personal protective equipment to use as well as when and how to use it.

CFAES Agricultural Spill Prevention & Management Guidelines
CFAES Petroleum Spill Response and Reporting
CFAES Fertilizer / Pesticide Spill Response and Reporting
OSU EHS Spill Response Form
Ohio EPA- Emergency Response Program Fact Sheet
Ohio Dept. of Ag: Secondary Containment Fact Sheet
Ohio Dept. of Ag - Pesticide and Fertilizer Regulation Section website
Ohio Dept. of Ag - Summary of Nurse Tank and Tool Bar Requirements Fact Sheet
Ohio EPA - Division of Environmental Response website
Emergency Planning for the Farm (Michigan State Univ.)

Fuel Storage Resources
CFAES Monthly Fueling Area Inspection Checklist
Ohio EPA - Regulation of above ground oil and petroleum product storage tanks
Ohio EPA - Understanding the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Requirements
EPA - Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan - Facilities Applicability
Ohio Ag Manager - Fuel Storage Containment Required


If you have any questions regarding spill prevention and management, please contact Kent McGuire at or 292-0588. You may also contact the OSU Environmental Health and Safety Office online at or by phone at (614) 292-1284.


Reviewed / Updated: 10/28/20 K. McGuire