Fuel, Lubricants & Trash

Serious contamination can have long lasting effects.

Improper handling of fuels, paints, solvents and lubricants can cause soil and water contamination. It can also damage water drinkability, recreational use and fisheries.

Report all fuel, lubricant and hazardous material spills exceeding one pound or pint which enter the waters of the state, including ground water, and causes a sheen or creates damage to the water quality. Report within 2 hours to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management 24 hour hotline: 888-233-7745.

Also report spills: 1) near well heads, 2) operating fluids exceeding 55 gallons, 3) spills which may damage water quality, 4) spills exceeding your cleanup capabilities, and 5) any spill where there is doubt or when technical clarification or assistance is needed. Any spill not cleaned up is also reportable. (Indiana Spill Rule - 327 IAC 2-6-1&2).

General Guidelines:

  • Clearly specify and use a designated area for fueling, material storage and maintenance. This area should be away from waterways, areas prone to runoff or sensitive areas like caves, sinkholes, springs, seeps and riparian management zones.
  • Use caution when fueling all equipment, even chainsaws, to avoid spills.

Equipment Breakdowns and Spills

General Guidelines:

  • Used oils, fuels, antifreeze and other materials may be considered hazardous and must be disposed of at approved sites. Do not mix wastes. For disposal site information contact the Indiana Department of Environmental Management at (317) 233-7745, or toll free at 1-888-233-7745.
  • Place all drained lubricants, fuels, etc. in closed containers. Remove them from the site for disposal or recycling according to state and federal regulations.
  • Drain oil filters when hot and dispose of used filters, oil cans and grease tubes properly. Drained metal cans and filters can be recycled as scrap metal.
  • Maintain all equipment to avoid leaks.
  • Clean up any spills that may have occurred according to state regulations. Provide receptacles, a spill kit and instructions for use in breakdown situations. At a minimum, the spill kit should include shovels, plastic sheeting (e.g. Visqueen*) for containment, plastic container to hold spill-contaminated material, 2 bags of absorbent (dry sand, oil-dry, kitty litter, peat moss, ground corncobs, sawdust and new straw are suitable absorbing materials). The spill kit should also include an instruction packet, available from IDEM.
  • Spills may be temporarily handled by:
    1. placing contaminated materials on heavy plastics and covering to protect from rainfall;
    2. using absorbents to soak up spilled materials or easy removal;
    3. constructing a dike to prevent off site movement of material.

    *Name brand is provided for clarification only and is not a product endorsement.


    Litter or trash left on an operation site looks bad.
    It damages the beauty of a woods and reflects poorly
    on the operator and landowner.

    General Guidelines:

    • Provide and use trash receptacles at forest operations.
    • Remove all litter when leaving the site and dispose of it properly.