Diesel spill results in emergency clean-up

The absence of an adequate maintenance programme for an aboveground diesel storage tank led to a breach in the secondary containment, resulting in a gradual leak that reached the sea.

The consequences

On immediate discovery of the leak, the company informed the authorities to coordinate the clean-up and carry out mitigation measures. The first measure taken to prevent exacerbation of the leak was to stop the discharge of the company’s treated effluent into the watercourse. This effectively stopped the company from operating for an extended period.

The total loss amounted to €160,000 of which €40,000 is in respect of clean-up costs and €120,000 for business interruption costs.

This example demonstrates how emergency costs are critical in mitigating environmental releases. Environmental policies provide coverage for emergency costs and allow the insured to notify the authorities of the release without compromising cover.