Guidance, Technical Assistance & Planning

Hazards

General Information on Hazards

General Information on Hazards

External Web Links

U.S. Government Bookstore (GPO): Hazardous Materials 

Federal publications about hazardous materials, bioterrorism, chemical warfare and response, including Chemical-Biological-Radiological-Nuclear-Explosive (CBRNE) incidents, clean-up and response.

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (DOT) 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) provides resources and links related to hazardous materials transportation safety and security.

Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (PHMSA)

Carries out a national safety program, including security matters, to protect against the risks to life and property inherent in the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce (other than bulk transportation onboard vessels).

Toxic Substances Portal (ATSDR)

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs™ is a series of summaries about hazardous substances developed by the ATSDR Division of Toxicology. Information for this series is excerpted from the ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and Public Health Statements. Each fact sheet serves as a quick and easy to understand guide. Answers are provided to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about exposure to hazardous substances found around hazardous waste sites and the effects of exposure on human health.

Environmental Contaminants Encyclopedia (National Park Service)

The Environmental Contaminants Encyclopedia, last updated in 1998, summarizes information about 118 environmental contaminants and serves as a quick reference for determining whether or not concentrations are above levels that might affect living things. The encyclopedia includes information related to fish, wildlife, invertebrates, and other non-human living resources. Contaminant effects on humans were only included when it helped with general understanding.

Disaster Information Management Research Center (HHS)

The core purpose of the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) is to develop and provide access to health information resources and technology for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Our intent is to connect people to quality disaster health information and foster a culture of community resiliency. DIMRC is tasked with the collection, organization and dissemination of health information resources and informatics research related to disasters of natural, accidental, or deliberate origin.

Chemical Safety Alerts (EPA)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chemical Safety Alert Publications.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Library of Federally Declared Disasters

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Library of Federally Declared Disasters 

Natural Hazards Center (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Provides the latest news and knowledge on hazards mitigation and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is pleased to collaborate with the National Academy of Sciences in making the 88 Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries (LCSSs) prepared by the National Research Council, Committee on Prudent Practices for Handling, Storage, and Disposal of Chemicals in Laboratories, available on the world wide web.

Medical Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Information Server

Provides news, medical references, site guides and training.

U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense 

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) is the nation's leading science and technology laboratory in the area of medical chemical countermeasures research and development.

Toxic Release Inventory System (EPA)

Publicly available Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) database containing information on chemical releases and waste management activities.

HAZMAT for Healthcare

Addresses hazardous materials incidents in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare locations.

"HazMat Laptop"

 Free stuff for the "HazMat Laptop".

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, also known as the Chemical Safety Board or CSB, is an independent U.S. federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents.

Hazardous Materials Incidents (Ready.gov)

Learn what actions to include in your family disaster plan to prepare for and respond to such incidents.

2005 Hazardous Materials Response Special Teams Handbook

A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reference/job aid designed to provide quick access to the capabilities of various special teams specifically related to oil, hazardous materials (hazmat) and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Hazardous Materials Roundtable (2003)

Summarizes the 2003 Hazardous Materials Roundtable sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Current/emerging hazmat issues are discussed; plans for federal and IAFC action are developed.

Learning Resource Center (FEMA)

An online database of fire service and emergency management topics.



Biological

Biological Hazards: Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) and other links

Bacterials

Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) QRG (2011)

Brucellosis (Brucella) QRG (2011)

Q-fever (Coxiella brunetii) QRG (2011)

Glanders & Melioidosis (Burkolderia mallei & Burkholderia pseudomallei) QRG (2011)

Plague (Yersinia pestis) QRG (2011)

Tularemia (Francisella tularensis) QRG (2011)

Bacillus anthracis PPE Wash Water Decontamination QRG (2012)

Virals

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (Hantavirus) QRG (2012)

Hemorrhagic Fever (10 Viruses) QRG (2012)

Smallpox (Orthopoxvirus) QRG (2012)

Tick-Borne Encephalitis (Tick-Borne Encephalitis virus) QRG (2012)

Biotoxins

Botulism (Clostridium botulinum) QRG (2011)

Ricin poisoning (Ricinus communis) QRG (2013)

QRG Reference Documents

Bacterials Reference Documents (2012)

Virals Reference Documents (2012)

Biotoxins Reference Documents (2011)

External Web Links

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH)

Biodefense research and information.

Anthrax (CDC)

Emergency Preparedness and Response for Anthrax.



Chemical

Chemical Hazards: Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) and other links (excludes oil)

Chemical Quick Reference Guides

GA (Tabun) QRG (2015)

GB (Sarin) QRG (2015)

GD (Soman) QRG (2015)

GF (Cyclosarin) QRG (2015)

VX QRG (2015)

Sulfur Mustard (HD) QRG (2015)

Mustard-Lewisite Mixture (HL) QRG (2015)

Lewisite (L) QRG (2015)

Key References Cited/Used in Chemical Warfare Agent QRGs (2015): GA (Tabun), GB (Sarin), GD (Soman), GF (Cyclosarin), Agent VX, HD (Sulfur Mustard), Lewisite (L), and Mustard-Lewisite Mixture (HL)

Phosgene (CG) QRG (2017)

Arsine (SA) QRG (2017)

Hydrogen Cyanide (AC) QRG (2017)

Cyanide Salts QRG (2017)

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) QRG (2016)

Chlorine Gas (CL) QRG (2015)

Methyl isocyanate (MIC) QRG (2015)

Key References Cited/Used* in Toxic Industrial Chemical (TIC) QRGs (2012): Chlorine Gas (CL), Methylisocyanate (MIC), and Phosgene (CG)

Organophosphate Thion (OPT) QRG (2012)

Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS) QRG (2013)

Ethanol QRG (2010)

External Web Links

Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

Guide produced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Chemical Hazards Response Information System

The Chemical Hazards Response Information System (CHRIS) is designed to provide information needed for decision-making by responsible U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) personnel during emergencies that occur during the water transport of hazardous chemicals.

Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act Overview

Fact sheets, statutes, regulations, policies, frequently asked questions (FAQs), etc.

Evidence-Based Planning Guidance for Patient Decontamination: “Patient Decontamination in a Mass Chemical Exposure Incident: National Planning Guidance for Communities.”

The Chemical Defense Program (CDP), under the Department of Homeland Security Office of Health Affairs (OHA), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), have published the document titled “Patient Decontamination in a Mass Chemical Exposure Incident: National Planning Guidance for Communities.”

Emergency Planning for Chemical Spills

Provides information on Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) and links for various planning purposes.

Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program

Overview of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP).

Chemtrec

A round-the-clock resource for obtaining immediate critical response information for incidents involving hazardous materials and dangerous goods.

Chemdex

The Sheffield Chemdex: the directory of chemistry on the world wide web since 1993.

Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (EPA)

Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) is a system of software applications used to plan for and respond to chemical emergencies. Developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to assist front-line chemical emergency planners and responders, CAMEO can access, store, and evaluate information critical for developing emergency plans.


In Situ Burning

Residues from In-Situ Burning (ISB) of Oil on Water (2000)

Part of a series of fact sheets produced by the NRT Science & Technology Committee on in-situ burning (ISB); Provides guidance on the residues produced from in-situ burning of oil on water; Intended to assist RRTs, On-Scene Coordinators (OSC), and other regional and local staff involved in ISB.

Guidance on Developing a Site Safety Plan for Marine In-Situ Burn Operations (1997)

The following site safety plan was written to assist the RRTs and On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) in responding to a marine/open water spill. The plan includes those elements unique to in-situ burning (ISB) for response personnel. Topics addressed include: burn entry objectives, response organization, burn area control, hazard evaluation, personal protective equipment (PPE), decontamination procedures, etc.

Site Safety Plans for Marine In-Situ Burning Operations (1997)

Provides information on site safety planning specific to in-situ burning. Safety hazards for in-situ burning (ISB) operations are similar to those of mechanical response operations at sea, with additional hazards related to the burning of oil.

The Efficacy of Fire Resistant Containment Booms (1999)

In order for in-situ burning (ISB) to be an effective spill response tool, oil thickness must be between 2-3mm. Most response plans for ISB at sea call for the use of fire resistant boom to contain the oil and maintain this minimum slick thickness during the burn. This fact sheet explores the current state of fire boom technology, existing protocols and standards, and future research and development needs.

Bibliography on In-Situ Burning (1998)

Updated since 1996, this compilation of references is intended to provide the user with information on in-situ burning (ISB) that may be useful or interesting.

Applicability of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Hazardous Waste Management Regulations on In-Situ Burning of Oil Spills (1996)

Provides general information on how the hazardous waste management regulations implementing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) may apply to the in-situ burning (ISB) of oil spills.

Applicability of Clean Air Act Ambient Air Quality Regulations to the In-Situ Burning of Oils Spills (1995) 

Provides an overview of National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) regulations under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and briefly discusses how such provisions may affect the use of in-situ burning (ISB). Identifies relevant local contacts with which to consult.

Igniters and Ignition Technology for In-Situ Burning of Oil (1995)

Often, the window of opportunity for a burn may be only a few hours. Igniter systems, which are critical to the success of any in-situ burning (ISB) event, need to be safe, effective, convenient to use and store and easy to mobilize. This fact sheet provides background on oil slick ignition, past and current igniter technology, recent research and development efforts and future research and development needs.

Aeration Techniques for In-Situ Burning of Oil: Enhancing an Alternative Spill Response Method (1995)

Despite the minimal hazards posed by soot and gas, thick black smoke produced in an in-situ burning (ISB) appears threatening, eroding public confidence in the safety of the process. This fact sheet identifies techniques to enhance ISB. Most notably, providing the necessary air to a burn avoids starved combustion of oil, thereby reducing the emission of hazardous smoke and soot, and shortening response time.

Guidance on Burning Spilled Oil In-Situ (1995)

Designed to assist RRTs in developing oil spill contingency plans, this fact sheet examines acceptable exposure limits to hazardous particulates for both the general public and responders. It also discusses other risk factors, monitoring and sampling strategies, and identifies future research priorities.

An Alternative Approach to Spill Response (1992)

Provides recent information on in-situ burning (ISB) for consideration as an alternative technology to present cleanup methods such as mechanical recovery or dispersants.



Fire

Fire

Lightning Hazard to Facilities Handling Flammable Substances (1997)

This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies the special fire or explosion hazard storage tanks containing flammable substances may represent in the event of a lightning strike, a spark, that might otherwise cause little or no damage. The alert discusses how to minimize such hazards and provides further resources on lightning protection, statutes, regulations, codes and standards.

External Web Links

National Fire Protection Association

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Homepage.

US Fire Administration

The U.S. Fire Administration is the lead Federal agency for fire data collection, public fire education, fire research and Fire Service training.

National Interagency Fire Center

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), located in Boise, Idaho, is the nation's support center for wildland firefighting.



Oil

NCP Subpart J Product Schedule
After Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review, products may be listed on the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) Subpart J Product Schedule (Product Schedule) in accordance with 40 CFR 300.900 et seq. The listing of a product on the Product Schedule does NOT mean that EPA approves, recommends, licenses, certifies, or authorizes the use of that product on an oil discharge. Additionally, the listing of a product on the Product Schedule does not mandate the use of that product by the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC), state, industry, or any oil spill response organization. Only a FOSC may authorize the use of a product that has been listed on the Product Schedule. RRTs and Area Committees may predetermine the suitability of using a product at a particular location, provided that product is listed on the Product Schedule. In some cases, these “preauthorization zones” have been established for designated areas. The FOSC may authorize the use of products not already pre-authorized for use in a pre-authorization zone, or may authorize the use of products outside of a pre-authorization zone, under the process established by 40 CFR 300.910. In determining the proper response, the FOSC must consider a number of factors unique to each oil discharge when determining which- if any- products should be authorized for use to address the discharge. No single product has been scientifically proven to work more effectively than other products in all potential discharge response situations.

Environmental Monitoring for Atypical Dispersant Operations (2013)

Approved by the NRT Members on May 30, 2013, this guidance was developed to assist On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) and RRTs in making incident-specific and planning decisions regarding environmental monitoring during atypical dispersant operations. The guidance is a living document envisioned to continue addressing monitoring challenges as conditions dictate; and allows for the inclusion of other atypical dispersant applications. In its current version, this document contains the following:

1. Subsea Application Guidance – generally applies to the subsurface ocean environment, focusing particularly on operations in waters below 300 meters and below the average pycnocline.

2. Prolonged Surface Application Guidance – supplements and complements the existing protocols as outlined in the Special Monitoring of Applied Response Technologies (SMART) monitoring program where the duration of the application of dispersants on discharged oil extends beyond 96 hours from the time of the first application.



Sorbents and Solidifiers (2007)
The NRT-RRT Factsheet Application of Sorbents and Solidifiers for Oil Spills is a planning document written by the NRT Science and Technology Committee. It was developed to inform readers of the acceptable use or prohibition of solidifiers listed on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), Subpart J Product Schedule (Product Schedule) for mitigation of oil spills. This Factsheet will also assist product manufacturers and members of the response community in distinguishing a sorbent from a solidifier for purposes of listing such products on the Product Schedule and applying them in the field. Finally, the document can be used for identifying the benefits and shortcomings of using solidifiers in different situations (e.g., light oil, sheens, heavy viscous oils, low temperature) and contrasting that to the use of sorbents.

Interactive Selection Guide for Oil Spill Response Countermeasures (https://sg.nrt.org)
Use it to simplify your evaluation of non-conventional ("applied") technologies, including chemical and biological products and additives, and in-situ burning (ISB), for real-time oil spill response, exercises, pre-spill planning, or informational purposes.

Selection Guide for Oil Spill Applied Technologies, Vol. 1: Decision Making (2003)
Developed by Region III and IV Response Teams, this guidance is designed to help On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) and spill responders evaluate in real-time dispersants, surface washing agents, bioremediation agents, surface collecting agents and other miscellaneous oil spill control agents when mechanical measures prove insufficient.

Best Practices for Migratory Bird Care During Oil Spill Response (2002)
Provides guidance to resource management agencies, potential responsible parties (PRP), oiled bird rehabilitators and On-Scene Coordinators (OSCs) on the "best practices" for promoting the welfare of migratory birds during an oil spill response. "Best Practices" strives to enable these parties to make informed decisions by addressing topics including: Area Contingency Plan (ACP) development, evaluation of contractors for bird capture and rehabilitation, and evaluation of oiled bird rehabilitation.

Consolidated List of Chemicals Subject to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act and Section 112 of the Clean Air Act
This consolidated list or "list of lists" has been prepared to help firms handling chemicals determine whether they need to submit reports under sections 302, 304, or 313 of Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA); whether they are subject to accident prevention regulations; and what reports may need to be submitted.

Guide to Special Monitoring of Applied Response Technologies (2001)
Special Monitoring of Applied Response Technologies (SMART), a guidance document, recommends monitoring methods, equipment, personnel training, and command and control procedures that strike a balance between the operational demand for rapid response and the Unified Command's (UC's) need for feedback from the field in order to make informed decisions.

Bioremediation in Oil Response (2000)
An information update on the use of bioremediation, a technique that may be applicable in responding to an oil spill under certain geographic and climatic conditions. Bioremediation converts toxigenic compounds of oil to nontoxic products without disrupting the local environment. Also, see the 1991 Bioremediation fact sheet.

Emulsion Breakers and Inhibiters for Treating Oil Spills (1997)
Emulsification of oil can severely inhibit recovery capabilities of skimmers, reduce pumping volumes, and render non-mechanical techniques less effective. Emulsion breakers (de-emulsifiers) are used to break or prevent the formation of emulsions on the open seas and break recovered emulsions in skimmers and tanks. This fact sheet provides an up-to-date summary of emulsion breaker research, and identifies further needed areas of research.

Oil Spill Field Operations Guide (1996)
Produced by the Standard Oil Spill Response Management System (STORMS) task force, this Field Operations Guide (FOG) is intended to provide guidance in forming a response management system for oil spills. It is endorsed by Firescope California, is consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System/Unified Command (ICS/UC) and complies with the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP).

Temporary Storage Devices (Towable) (1995)
Provides information on the use of towable, temporary storage devices (TSD) in oil spill response as an immediate temporary storage receptacle, on-site.

Use of Chemical Dispersants on Oil Spills (1993)
Discusses the use of chemical dispersants as an oil spill response strategy for open-water application. Reviews past use, effectiveness, toxicity, and mechanics of dispersant.

Training Reference for Oil Spill Response (1994)
There are four federal agencies with responsibilities under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) to require vessel and facility response plans: the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Transportation’s (DOT's) Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), and the Minerals Management Service (MMS). In order to assist companies in meeting their regulatory responsibilities to develop training programs for their personnel, the four federal agencies have developed this training reference manual for oil spill response. The contents provide a foundation of suggested subject material for training personnel with responsibilities identified in response plans.

Radiological and Nuclear Hazards: QRGs and other links

Improvised Nuclear Device QRG (2013)


Radiological Dispersion Devices QRG (2012)


Department of Energy Regional Radiological Assistance Program points of contact (2015)


Radiation Emergency Assistance Center (DOE)
Through the management of the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) positions the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an international leader in emergency medical response to radiation incidents.

National Nuclear Security Administration
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Homepage.

Ionizing Radiation (OSHA)
Recognition, Evaluation, Control, and Compliance.

National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Field Office (DOE)
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction (WMD); provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Resources

Working together to protect against threats to our land, air and water

United States Environmental Protection Agency United States Coast Guard United States Department of State United States Department of Defense U.S. Department of Homeland Security (FEMA) United States Department of Energy United States Department of Agriculture United States Department of Health & Human Services United States Department of the Interior United States Department of Commerce United States Department of Transportation United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission United States General Services Administration United States Department of Justice United States Department of Labor