Environmental Incidents and Emergency Response



An Environmental Incident is an event that may cause harm or potential harm to an environmental receptor e.g. air, water, land, wildlife or local habitat.


Reporting an Environmental Incident: 

In an emergency call 999 or Security on 6300 for immediate response.

To report the incident to Sustainability Services please complete the form below.

Incidents could include:

Air Pollution - Black Smoke - Chemical Spill - Oil Spill - Fly tipping - Waste Issue - Sewage Leak etc.

In many cases, major pollution incidents can be prevented if appropriate pollution prevention measures are in place or immediately available. It is the duty of all members of the University to ensure that where possible, they do not knowingly contribute to such an incident.

This procedure provides an overview of the response and reporting process.  For risks and potential incidents related to specific operations (e.g. within laboratories)  please refer to Risks Assessments and your local emergency response plans (this may include spill plans and reporting processes).  This procedure, as detailed below, should be used to inform and assist in the production of local procedures.

Environmental Incident Response Procedure:

  1. In the event of an environmental incident between the hours of 08:00 and 16:00 Monday to Friday, the incident must be reported immediately to the Estates Helpdesk (ext. 7000) who will contact the appropriate person or company to deal with the incident.
  2. In the event of an environmental incident between the hours of 16:00 and 08:00 Monday to Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday, or on University closure days and bank holidays, the incident must be reported to Security (ext. 6300) who will contact the On-Call Duty Engineer from Estates who will deal with the event.
  3. If the incident cannot be managed internally, the Duty Engineer or appropriate person should consult the ‘Emergency Contractor Details Contact List’ which is managed by Maintenance.
  4. A spill response process is operated by Estates who can deploy a spill kit to prevent spills spreading or proceeding off site, unless the spill is beyond their capacity in which case external support is brought in (See the Emergency Contractor Details Contact List).
  5. The appropriate person/company then deals with the incident and prevents or mitigates adverse environmental damage.
  6. After an incident, the person responsible for dealing with the incident should fill out an Environmental Incident Report Form.
  7. Completed forms must be sent to the Sustainability Officers who review, monitor and, if necessary, investigate and identify appropriate action to prevent re-occurrence.
  8. Any corrective actions that are identified are managed via the non-conformity and corrective action procedure which is detailed in the EEMS Section 7.1.

Schools and Functions should have their own local incident response procedures that are relevant to the activities, risks, locations and facilities within their operational activities.  Please contact sustainability@reading.ac.uk or 6837/6968 for assistance.

This procedure is part of the EEMS Manual and Procedures which are reviewed annually.  Next Review is due in January 2023.

Please contact sustainability@reading.ac.uk for more information

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