Guidance, Technical Assistance & Planning



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)

Ammonia (NH3) QRG (2020)

Phosphine (PH3) QRG (2018)

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)

Organothiophosphate (OTP) Pesticides QRG (Parathion, Methyl Parathion, Disulfoton, Phorate, Chlorpyrifos, Malathion) (2018)

Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS) QRG (2013)

Ethanol QRG (2010)

Fentanyl Factsheet for Federal On-Scene Coordinators (EPA) (2018). Additional fentanyl resources are listed below:

  1. Fentanyl (NIOSH)
  2. Opioid overdoses (CDC)
  3. Exposure training module (NIEHS)
  4. Preventing occupational exposure to emergency responders (NIOSH)
  5. Preventing occupational exposure to healthcare personnel in hospital and clinic settings (NIOSH)
  6. Personal protective equipment (PPE) table for protection against fentanyl and its analogues (NIOSH)


External Web Links

Massachusetts Large Volume/High Concentration (LV/HC) Ethanol Incident Response Annex (Commonwealth of Massachusetts)

The purpose of the Massachusetts LV/HC Ethanol Incident Response Annex is to promote situational awareness and outline the operational activities surrounding a state response to large scale emergency involving ethanol, such as the response to an incident involving railroad tank cars or a barge containing ethanol, within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) Fourth Generation Agents (NIH)

Resources to help the emergency response community prepare for and respond to a fourth generation agent incident. Fourth generation agents, also known as Novichoks or A-series nerve agents, belong to a category of chemical warfare agents that are unique organophosphorus compounds.

Emergency Response Guidebook (DOT)

Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) produced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Chemical Hazards Response Information System (USCG)

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 (EPA)

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 (DHS)

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.

Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (FEMA)

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

Chemtrec (Chemtrec)

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

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.


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