1. #1
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    Question HazMat Help Needed - questions..

    I am in the process of trying to figure out our current HazMat trailer, which is just a wreck. My company does inital response, spill control, and emergency decon, no level A stuff. I was wondering if you guys could comment on the following...

    1. Anyone know what the use is of the following?
    5 gallons of Vermiculite
    5 gallons of Perlite
    5 gallons of Lime
    5 gallons of Soda ash

    2. Anyone have any illistrations of how they set up thier operations (ie. hazard zones, decon areas, etc.) Federal works are in REAL need of pictures to understand... (Just kidding)

    Anyone have a real bare bones minimum equipment list for the following tasks?
    Inital response/rescue from the hazard
    spill control
    emergency/EMS decon

    Keep in mind I have no money!!!

    Any help would be great....

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    Vermiculite and perlite are used as absorbants for oil and other petroleum-based products. You sprinkle it into the puddle until the oil's absorbed, then scoop/shovel it up into a disposal container.

    Lime and soda ash are used to neutralize acids. Of course, you also have to have some way to determine if the acid's neutralized, such as a pH testing kit/meter.

    As far as the equipment list goes, it depends on the hazards you might face and your level of training. Do you have a fully-equipped HazMat team available nearby? If so, best bet would be to SIN - ensure Safety, Isolate the area and Notify trained personnel. That's what we do on our department...we're only First Responder Operations trained, so we don't do anything beyond those three steps and wait for the local HazMat team to arrive.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    ahh yes, now I remember.. we are a little old school here and call everything to absorb oil "kitty litter" even though it is really 3 different things...I was looking at those products on a list of purchases... thanks

    We have about twenty trained to the operations level, and a few tech's. I really don't have the option to wait for another department... except for clean-up, the nearest haz-mat team is over 2 to 3 hours away. We know what to do, we just have crappy equipment sometimes. But hey.. we are the goverment!

    Thanks for your comments...

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    ". I really don't have the option to wait for another department... except for clean-up, the nearest haz-mat team is over 2 to 3 hours away"
    If you dont have the proper equipment or training then you really should wait until it arrives. Better to wait 3 hours than have somebody injured. As long as you carry out the SIN then play the waiting game.Remember to check that the gains outweigh the risks before you undertake any control actions.

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    An effective method to determining what stuff you might need is to look at how many hazmat incidents have you had.

    Also, to consider is what is coming through the gates every day. Is n't there some requirement that the haulers of materials have to have kits and materials on board the tractor in the event of a spill. If not why not make it a requirement to use the Park roads at all.

    If bad stuff is coming through the gates then you should plan for the container to have a potential to fail while in the park.

    The best thing that might be be to your advantage is to learn to do nothing (in consideration of your budget).

    Dectection equipment to determine the hazard might also be a way to figure out what you have to then be able to call for help sooner.

    email with ideas and stuff is on the way.

    Don Zimmerman

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    A pair of Binoculars and the Emergency Response Guide(Guide for First Responders) book is a good way to start. It gives you tonnes of information, basic isolation distances, placards, phone numbers for Chemical Places that can tell you what you are dealing with. As well as a basic guide on how to deal with it.

    Knowing what comes through the area is a good idea. Lookin up the Material Safety Data Sheets on the internet or calling the chemical places. Getting a basic understanding of what you encounter will help you deal with it initially.

    Will get back to you about the decon stuff and other stuff.

    Cheers

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    from one goverernment type to another: I feel your pain.

    Vermiculite/perlite are specialty absorbents. Donít use them for oil, gasoline or other general petroleum spills unless you are eliminating them from your stock. For oil spills it should be less expensive to use oil dry (kitty litter). We use the type that burns (check label info) and therefore trash incinerators accept the waste. Vermiculite is more suited for corrosives and flammable materials, like chlorates, ammonia, mercury and stuff like that common to residential or commercial settings. Vermiculite type materials are excellent packing materials for glass or chemical bottles, thermometers and other creative containers that some yahoo might have in the trunk.

    5 gallons of lime or soda ash is not gonna do you much good and is probably just wasting space. Perhaps one of your horticulture colleagues could put it to better use. For small corrosive spills I just use the speedy dry and shovel it up into a container and label it and let the clean up or disposal contractor do what they need to do to properly transport it for disposal. Most small corrosive spill are contact hazards anyway, look at their vapor pressures; but don't get complacent because as you know corrosives and lung tissue are incompatible.

    For most of the petroleum spills it's pretty much common sense that does not require a full calculated response and an elaborate Decon, unless youíre responding to bulk situations. Itís pretty much diking, damming, and recovery with out catching your self on fire. For bearbones: shovel and other earth moving tools, LEL meter you have the potential to respond to bulk container or indoor leaks or leak that have a potential for the vapor to accumulate, ID literture, pH paper, Photo-ionozation meter (maybe), plug and patch kit(you can make one)(plug and dike is the quickest and most effective way to stop fuel tank leaks http://www.plugndike.com/), barrier tape works good to curb the cluster effect, PPE stuff. Always consider respiratory issues even with oils. Figure out a way to ventilate and establish a no tolerance attitude toward breathing vapors of any king

    If your responding to chemicals or pressurized gases you should consider a more detailed response plan. You may consider contacting the EPA On-Scene Coordinator in your EPA region for insight, that hazmat team that is two or three hours away for info or joint training if they are friendly that way, or you can even call me at 207-822-6338. I can provide you with zone and decon diagrams, SOPs, OSHA 1910.120 stuff, photos or what ever you need that you feel might help. -nate.

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    Your lime and soda ash can be used to neutralize a material with a high pH, but it would depend on the level of training and knowledge of H/M chemistry your team has on whether or not you should ever use it. Trying to neutralize a strong acid can be very hazardous to your health if done improperly!
    I agree with nate99z about contacting your local EPA Federal On Scene Coordinator for more information. Shoot me an e-mail at scorbitt@msocleveland.uscg.mil and I'll send you some information I have concerning wasy decon set-ups, etc, and a link to the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team --- even though you are so far inland, these guys can be an excellent help to you.

    Stay safe!!

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