Oil Spill Prevention, Response and Recycling

Wanted, every last drop of oil on the Rubicon

Before You Go

Prior to heading out on the trail, perform your pre-trip maintenance to prevent leaks and minimize the chances of breaking down. Small leaks at home can turn into major leaks under extreme conditions. Small leaks from hundreds of vehicles result in a huge impact on the trail.

Clean your engine, transmission, transfer case and driveline to check for oil leaks. Repair or replace leaking gaskets and seals. Check the fuel, cooling, brake, power steering and other systems as well. Repair or replace lines, hoses, reservoirs and other components. Install skid plates to protect critical areas from damage. Make sure your battery is firmly secured.

While Wheeling

Drive cautiously to prevent damage to your vehicle. Don’t straddle large rocks that can puncture vulnerable components. Cross obstacles at an angle, one wheel at a time, raising vehicle clearance. Know where the low points on your vehicle are; the differential, transmission, transfer case, etc.

Use a spotter in front of your vehicle to let you know what’s going on underneath. Know what’s ahead of you. Stop frequently, get out, walk ahead and observe. Evaluate the options and select the least damaging route.

Spill Response

If you do experience a spill on the trail, the first step is to control the leak. Use whatever means available to stop or slow the leak at its source. Hoses can be clamped, and in some cases, small holes can be plugged.

Secondly, contain what has spilled. Use the absorbent pad provided to soak up any petroleum-based liquid.  Absorb all of the petroleum liquid that you can and put any contaminated soils in the plastic bag that your spill kit came in.  Leaks can be captured in containers.  Put all contaminated materials into the plastic bag and dispose of it in the HazMat shed on your way out.

Recycling and Disposal

Disposal can be done at the HazMat sheds located at all the trailheads.  At the Loon Lake kiosk the storage shed is located between the kiosk and the restrooms. There is also one at Wentworth Springs Campground next to the kiosk.  In the Tahoma staging area, the shed is located next to the restrooms.