Hazardous Material

Hazardous Materials Incidents

Chemicals are found everywhere. They purify drinking water, increase crop production, and simplify household chores. But chemicals can also be hazardous to humans or the environment if used or released improperly. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use, or disposal. You are at risk if a chemical is used unsafely or released in harmful amounts into the environment.

Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects, and damage to buildings, homes, and other property. Many products containing hazardous chemicals are used and stored in homes routinely. These products are also shipped daily on the nation's highways, railroads, waterways, and pipelines.

Chemical manufacturers are one source of hazardous materials, but there are many others, including service stations, hospitals, and hazardous materials waste sites.

Varying quantities of hazardous materials are manufactured, used, or stored at an estimated 4.5 million facilities in the United States- from major industrial plants to local dry cleaning establishments or gardening supply stores.

Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, gases, flammable and combustible substances, oxidizers, poisons, radioactive materials, and corrosives. These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of chemical accidents in plants. Additionally, hazardous waste spills or sewage leaks may pose a hazard.

In the event of an accident involving hazardous materials, safely remove yourself from the area; stay uphill and upwind; prevent others from entering the affected area; and call 911. For large incidents, please monitor your local tv or radio station (KOGO 600 AM or KLSD 1360 AM) for additional information; view the News Updates and/or Social Media section of the  San Diego Emergency App (if you have a smart phone); or visit the City of Oceanside Social Media page. 

The City of Oceanside may utilize its Reverse-911 system (Alert San Diego) and phone calls would be made to residents and businesses near the hazardous materials incident with emergency information. Phone calls are made to landlines or to cell phone numbers that are registered with Alert San Diego. Cell phones may be registered free of charge; Click
Here to register your cell phone. There is no need to register landlines, for they are automatically in the Alert San Diego system.

You are encouraged to protect yourself by safely storing your household chemicals and seperating incompatible chemicals from each other. Dispose your household chemicals at the following facility: 

Waste Management of North County Recycling Center 2880 Industry Street
(760) 439-2824.

Residents may bring up to 5 gallons per day of used motor oil, used oil filters, and anti-freeze, Tuesday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment is necessary. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) materials are only accepted on Saturdays by appointment only. Oceanside residents must show proof of residency.

For more info visit the Household Hazardous Waste Here.

Nuclear Accidents

All nuclear power plants in the United States are closely regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and accidents are unlikely. The nearest Nuclear power plant, San Onofre Nuclear Gererating Station (SONGS), is approximately 20 miles from Oceanside. An announcement was made to decommission the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on June 7, 2013.

A nuclear power plant accident would not cause the same widespread destruction as a nuclear weapon. Although radioactive materials could be released in a cloud or plume, no fallout is produced to endanger people. This is considered a type of hazardous materials incident, so many of the responses will be the same.

What will the City do?

A City-wide, official announcement will be made with information and instructions. The following is an explanation of the language you would hear:  

  • Alert - A radiation leak inside a nuclear power plant, but it will not affect the community.
  • Site Area Emergency - A more serious problem. Small amounts of radiation could leak from a nuclear power plant. 
  • General Emergency - A serious problem. Radiation could leak off the plant site.

Public safety officials will determine shelter locations in case of an evacuation, and will respond to life threatening emergencies via 911 calls.

What should you do?