Discussion Board Question 59

Question Description

1. Identify the possible environmental impacts of a Hazardous Materials Event impacting your community, list the governmental entities having responsibility to oversee and or control/mitigate such impact, with their contact numbers, added to your “master” Incident Action Plan. Submit.

2. Take on the role as the Public Information Officer (PIO) and submit a press release pertaining to week 5 activities. Be prepared to answer questions from the media or community at a Town Hall Meeting.

Some examples include –

Ask the PIO to provide a briefing that includes:

1. The situation status. 2. Additional road closures. 3. Evacuation routes. 4. Personal protective measures.

In addition, address the following:

  • What is the local role in response to a hazardous materials incident?
  • Who is responsible for cleanup operations?
  • What is the role/responsibility of your organization and how does that impact or effect the state and federal systems?
  • What is the definition of “Hazardous Materials”?

There is no right or wrong – you are using the info and education from previous weeks and classes. Assess the incident and carefully address the questions and the briefing. Remember not to promise too much!

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Example one of the student (please do something different)

1. Identify the possible environmental impacts of a Hazardous Materials Event impacting your community, list the governmental entities having responsibility to oversee and or control/mitigate such impact, with their contact numbers, added to your “master” Incident Action Plan. Submit.

The people in the affected area may be impacted by several ways. One will be by air as the chemicals will possibly be an airborne threat.

The water may become contaminated due to the chemicals seeping into the ground water, sewage system or water delivery system.

Hazardous materials may be explosive or combustible and so will have the potential to cause large explosions. If an area isn’t properly zoned then residential communities and commercial areas may be in danger. Secondly, if a company that handles hazardous materials is not handling them properly or is it exceeding the allowed amounts of certain explosive/combustible materials, then even if an area is zoned properly, residential and commercial areas may be at risk. Even without any mishandling, the community is affected by explosions at factories due to loss of life and livelihood.

Ecosystems may also be threaten short and long term. Massive die off of fish and long term death of avian species has been seen in situations involving both oil and mercury (Sovacool, B. K. 2009) (Peterson, C. H., Rice, S. D., Short, J. W., Esler, D., Bodkin, J. L., Ballachey, B. E., & Irons, D. B. 2003).

In these situations I would expect for the EPA to be one of the first agencies to be involved and to play a long term active role. The EPA is responsible for monitoring cleanup and decontamination, ensuring that air water and soil isn’t contaminated and how the effects of an event may threaten people and wildlife.

EPA US Region 3 (Philadelphia)

Address: 1650 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Phone: (215) 814-5122

OSHA is going to be fully involved when the situation is caused by a leak or explosion at a private business like an industrial plant or waste disposal facility. They may also be involved as a resource to protect potential victims and for assessing the extent of contamination and the knowledge to contain the situation.

OSHA US Region 3 (Philadelphia)/U.S. Department of Labor/OSHA

Address: The Curtis Center-Suite 740 West 170 S. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3309

Phone: (215) 861-4900

The Fire Department is primarily responsible for HAZMAT response as they are trained to be the personnel on the ground during an event. Ladder 19 in Philadelphia will be representing the trained human response to the direct victims of a HAZMAT event.

Engine 60, Ladder 19, Medic 37, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Address. 2301 S. 24th Street; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2. Take on the role as the Public Information Officer (PIO) and submit a press release pertaining to week 5 activities. Be prepared to answer questions from the media or community at a Town Hall Meeting.

Hello everyone, and thank you for attending in person and listening in at home. There is a significant event involving hazardous materials in progress that has the potential to cause great harm. Please listening carefully to the following information to ensure your own safety and the quick and effective response to this situation. An unknown chemical has apparently leaked out a a medical chemicals plant, NDJ. This occurred shortly after the reported 3.5 magnitude earthquake earlier today. We believe these events are in fact linked. A formal investigation will be done at the conclusion of the response. Employees who escaped the plant reported burning eyes, sore throats and confusion. 8 employees are currently unaccounted for. Those family members and loved ones will contacted within the hour and we will continue to update the public about their whereabouts and condition.

For you own safety the routes leading to the the NDJ Plant near Turkey Hill have been blocked by police barricade. Trains going to and from this area have also been stopped or rerouted. Until further notice residents are advise to not travel within a 5 mile radius of the area. If the situation escalates, residents in the area will be advise to take 195 to 295 North from the area to the East and Route 13 to the West. Do your best to schedule accommodation’s with friends and family. Local authorites will also be creating temporary rest stops with water and snacks. These locations will be communicated on the emergency AM radio frequency and detailed signs on these routes will give directions to the exits to take.

Please continue to seek updates thought the local news stations, the AM emergency stations and our official Social Media accounts.

Representatives from OSHA are currently investigating the origin of the leak and the nature of the chemical.

The EPA is assessing the risk of exposure outside of the industrially zoned region and the effect to ground water and air.

Ladder 19, Philadelphia premiere HAZMAT response experts are on the scene working on rescue efforts and extinguishing fires.

The local PEMA response will be responsible for augmenting these agencies and overseeing and acting in the cleanup phase of the response. We will be working closely with the EPA during this aspect of the process.

Hazardous materials include any material that can cause injury or death to human beings, are combustibles or explosive in nature and can have an acute and long term effect on the environment. This chemical has already shown to have more than one of these qualities. The participation and cooperation of the public is paramount in our ability to respond with success. We look forward to your help and cooperation. Thank you.

Reference:

Sovacool, B. K. (2009). Contextualizing avian mortality: A preliminary appraisal of bird and bat fatalities from wind, fossil-fuel, and nuclear electricity. Energy Policy, 37(6), 2241-2248.

Peterson, C. H., Rice, S. D., Short, J. W., Esler, D., Bodkin, J. L., Ballachey, B. E., & Irons, D. B. (2003). Long-term ecosystem response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Science, 302(5653), 2082-2086

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