Odorant Spill Response

Dan McCormack, VP Engineering
June 29, 2023
Odorant Spill Response

Odorant is a specialty chemical that requires handling by highly trained personnel.  

In the event of an odorant spill here are six things you need to know about odorant:

  • Odorant is flammable
  • Odorant vapor is heavier than air
  • Odorant liquid is lighter than water
  • Odorant liquid will flash to vapor under normal ambient conditions
  • Odorant is very smelly with some people able to smell odorants in the parts per BILLION range
  • Odorant plumes can travel for several kilometers under the right conditions

Here are five steps to respond to an odorant spill:

Security - Make the area safe

  • Ensure your safety
  • Extinguish all forms of ignition
  • Remove all non essential personnel and the public from the affected area
  • Notify your supervisor


  • Enact your company emergency response plan, and respond based on that plan.
  • Contact emergency services if directed by your company emergency response plan

Plan - Take a minute to plan before acting

  • Use proper PPE
  • Ensure the safety of all workers and the public
  • Create a plan of action

Act - Safely do what needs to be done

  • Stop the spill if possible - Cover the hole, close the valves, etc.
  • Control the spill by setting up diking
  • Control the smell by covering the spill area with a tarp or black dirt.

Clean-up - Make it better

  • If the spill is small, dig up the contaminated soil and place it into sealed drums or containers.  Tansley can handle this waste.
  • Contact Tansley Associates for assistance.  Tansley has specialty equipment, chemicals and techniques to handle odorant spills.

Tansley Associates recommends that your emergency response plan include preparing for an odorant spill.  Preplanning should include;

  • Reviewing the SDS for your odorant
  • Having odorant spill kits available
  • Performing odorant spill drills
  • Developing a media response statement
  • Understanding plume modeling
  • Having a third party contact # for a knowledgeable odorant vapor health official for public health concerns

If you have any questions regarding odorant spill response services, participating in an odorant spill drill or any other odorant concerns or questions we would be pleased to talk to you.

If you have any odorant concerns or questions we would be pleased to talk to you. Call 403.569.8566