emergency spill response, hazmat spill response, hazardous waste disposal, emergency spills

Weekends are a time for relaxation.

“But not for us,” said Chris Johnson with a good-natured chuckle.

Johnson is Co-Owner of HazChem Environmental.

“We always have eight people ready to handle any emergency on the weekends,” Johnson explained. “Of course we pay our employees merely to be ready to handle any type of emergency spill on the weekends. If there isn’t a spill all weekend, our employees still make some bonus money.”

However, almost every weekend of the year, either an existing client or new client will call HazChem to clean up an emergency spill.

“Over the last 20 years, my best guess is we average about three emergency-spill cleanups per weekend,” Johnson said. “Our clients are glad that we are always prepared, our employees are happy to make some extra money on a rotating basis and, as a part owner of our company, I am glad to know that our company is trusted seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

On Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 8:23 p.m., HazChem received a phone call from a trucking company.

And that trucking company happens to be amongst the top five freight-moving companies in the world.

Over 150 gallons of diesel had spilled in the front entrance of a Chicagoland terminal of this company.

“This was especially frustrating for this company, our longtime client, because they couldn’t let trucks in and out of the terminal,” Johnson explained. “They did not want the spill to keep spreading.”

So Johnson sent out a HazChem hazmat-trained team that had been assigned “weekend duty.”

Once the crew arrived on-site, the cleanup went smoothly.

There had been puddles full of diesel so the crew used a Drum Vacuum to suck up those puddles.

To work as quick as possible, the crew also used power sweepers. HazChem uses the STIHL PowerSweep.

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“We are not in the product endorsement business,” Johnson said. “But HazChem only uses top equipment, and no one makes a power broom better than STIHL. Their brooms worked tremendously on this spill, and they always work great for us.”

The crew had laid down fresh oil dry and used the STIHL PowerSweep to work that oil dry into the spillage. The crew then shoveled the worked-in oil dry into 55-gallon OTS drums of waste.

Within 90 minutes upon arrival, the spill was cleaned.

“We never leave a cleanup site until our client approves of our work,” Johnson explained. “On this particular spill, our client expressed over and over again how pleased it was that we are always available — even on weekends.”