The city of Toledo Division of Environmental Services operates an Emergency Response Program that responds to and investigates spills throughout the community.

The city employs emergency response personnel who can respond to actual and potential releases of hazardous substances that present an acute threat to the public health and/or the environment, including oil, gasoline, chemicals, paint, mercury, and leaking underground storage tanks. In the event of a spill, the Division of Environmental Services will notify the appropriate agencies and facilitate coordination efforts of local contractors to expedite the cleanup. The Division of Environmental Services becomes a supporting agency to other divisions such as the Toledo Fire Department during hazardous material incidents, assisting when and where necessary.

The city’s Division of Environmental Services works with the Lucas County Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments to provide municipal facilities employees with mandatory annual Emergency Response Awareness training through the Pollution Prevention Good/Housekeeping Emergency Response Awareness Program. The purpose of this training is to provide employees with the basic understanding of how to use their spill response equipment and spill containment techniques to cleanup and prevent materials from entering catch basins and/or leaving a site. The training also teaches employees to recognize and differentiate between spills that can be handled by onsite personnel and those that require outside assistance. Proper disposal requirements for spent materials are also discussed. This training is a key element of the city’s Stormwater Management Program, which aims to protect water quality by improving municipal or facility operations.

Maintaining an emergency response program and providing all employees at municipal facilities with emergency response training helps to ensure that the city is prepared to protect sources of drinking water in the event of a spill or other emergency within city limits. These efforts drive progress toward the Source Water Initiative’s third goal of ensuring that effective systems for spill prevention and response are accessible and in use by diverse stakeholders.