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New pages were added to the 2000 ERG with silhouettes of rail cars and road trailers. The 2008 edition has one new addition to the Road Trailer Section, the Intermodal Tank. A wide variety of rail cars and road trailer vehicles transport liquids, compressed gases, liquefied compressed gases, refrigerated liquids, flammable solids and molten solids, to name a few. While the container type may indicate the physical state of the material inside, more identification about the product before any mitigation efforts are initiated. The information presented in the 2208 ERG gives responders a generic idea of the hazards associated with bulk-transportation containers. Orange Guide page numbers have been provided for use depending on the type of container involved in an incident. They can be found in a circle next to individual rail cars and road trailers on the charts. These guide pages should be used only when no other information is available. The "Rail Car Identification Chart" is on page 18 and the "Road Trailer Identification chart" is on page 19.
- Yellow Section - The Yellow Section, starting on page 27, contains a numerical listing of the United Nations four-digit identification numbers found on placards on vehicles transporting bulk quantities of hazardous materials. Once the four-digit number is located in the Yellow Section, reference is made to an action guide in the Orange Section.
- Blue Section - Alphabetical listings of the same materials found in the Yellow Section are in the Blue Section, starting on page 97. This section is used only if the name of the hazardous material is known. Both the Yellow and Blue Sections reflect new additions of chemicals not contained in the 2004 guidebook. When a material listed in the Yellow or Blue Sections is highlighted in green, initial isolation and protective action distances for that chemical are listed in the Green Section, starting on page 300. Highlighting the materials listed in the Yellow and Blue Sections using the color Green is new to the 2008 ERG. Evacuation distances in the Green Section are used only if a material is not on fire. If a material is on fire, see the evacuation distances listed in the Orange Section.
- Orange Section - Protective action guides numbered 111-172 start on page 168. Each protective action guide provides procedures to preserve the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel during the initial stages of a hazmat incident. Once an Orange Guide page is identified for a particular chemical; read the entire page before taking any action. Actions taken should not exceed the level of training and equipment available to response personnel. Guide pages in the Orange Section are divided into three major sections: Potential Hazards, Public Safety and Emergency Response. The Potential Hazards section is subdivided into two sections: fire or explosion, and health hazards. Public Safety is divided into three sections: general information, protective clothing and evacuation. Emergency Response is divided into three sections: fire, which includes evacuation and isolation information; recommended extinguishing agents; and when to use unmanned monitors and withdraw from the area. Also included in the Orange Section are spill or leak procedures, including isolation and evacuation distances and first-aid information. Several guides also contain loss-of-cooling information for materials that must be maintained at a certain temperature to remain stable.
- Green Protective Action and Water Reactive Section - Initial isolation and protective action distances for materials highlighted in the Yellow and Blue Sections are in the Green Section, starting on page 300. New to the 2008 ERG is the labeling of the tables in the Green Section. Table 1 contains the Initial Isolation and Protective Action Distances that can be found on pages 298-299. The Green Section lists Table 1 materials by United Nations (UN) 4-digit ID number and chemical name. Initial evacuation and protective action distances in the 2008 ERG have been "tuned-up," which will mean some values are different in the 2008 edition in comparison to the 2004 ERG. Fluctuations in the isolation and downwind protection distances occur because of improvements in computer modeling used to determine the distances. A graphic showing set-up of initial isolation and protective action guide distances is shown on pages 298 and 299 of the Green Section. When a material in the Yellow or Blue Section is highlighted, responders should go directly to the Green Section to obtain isolation and evacuation distances. Information on wind direction should be obtained as soon as possible.
Table 2 materials listed in the Green Section are Water Reactive Materials Which Produce Toxic Gases. Materials are also listed by UN four-digit number and chemical name. Also listed are the Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) materials produced by contact of the original product with water.