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Hazardous materials as secondary results of flooding

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Title:
Hazardous materials as secondary results of flooding a case study of planning and response
Series Title:
Quick response research report ;
Title on added title page:
Hazardous materials hazards as secondary results of flooding : a case study of planning and response : final report
Physical Description:
20, 1, 5 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Denning, Elaine J
University of Colorado, Boulder -- Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
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Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
Place of Publication:
Boulder, Colo.
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Subjects / Keywords:
Hazardous substances -- Accidents -- Case studies   ( lcsh )
Flood damage -- Case studies   ( lcsh )
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government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 21).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Elaine J. Denning.
General Note:
"March, 1992"--Added t.p.
General Note:
Includes interview guide in separately-paged appendix.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001971257
oclc - 277005812
usfldc doi - F57-00002
usfldc handle - f57.2
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SFS0001083:00001


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HAZARbOUSMAi'e-R'AlSfirSSECONbARyt
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HAZARDOUSMATERIALSASSECONDARYRESULTSOFFLOODING:ACASESTUDYOFPLANNINGANDRESPONSEByElaineJ.DenningQUICKRESPONSERESEARCHREPORT #49 1992TheviewsexpressedinthisreportarethoseoftheauthorsandnotnecessarilythoseoftheNaturalHazardsCenterortheUniversityofColorado.

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FINALREPORTHazardousMaterialsHazardsasSecondaryResultsofFlooding:ACaseStudyofPlanningandResponseElaineJ.DenningMarch,1992This publication is partofthe Natural Hazards Research&Applications Information Center's ongoing Quick Response Research Report Series. http://www.colorado.edu/hazardsThispaperwasundertakenwithsupportfromtheNaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenter1990-1991QuickResponseprogramfortheproject"HazardousMaterialsHazardsasSecondaryEffectsofFlooding:AComparisonofPlanningandResponse."Iwouldliketoextendthankstoeveryonewhowasinterviewedforthisproject,andtoDr.JoanneNiggforreviewingthispaper.TheideasexpressedarethoseoftheauthoranddonotnecessarilyreflecttheviewsoftheNaturalHazardsResearchandApplicationsInformationCenter.

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I.II.III.IV.V.VI.VII.VIII.CONTENTSPurposeoftheResearchResearchQuestionsMethodologyDescriptionoftheFloodingEventorganizationsInvolvedinFloodingandHazardousMaterialsIncidentsHazardousMaterialsIncidents,ResponsesandProceduresTheAddedThreatofaChemicalPlantExplosionConclusions

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I.PurposeoftheResearchOneinfrequentlystudiedprobleminthenaturalhazardsareaisthesecondaryeffectsoffloodingwithrespecttohazardousmaterials.Duringaflood,hazardousmaterialsincidentscanoccurbutmaybeoverlookedbecauseofconcernswiththeprimarydisasterimpacts.Theseincidentsmayoccurinavarietyofways.Oldhazardousmaterials"dump"sitesmaybeunderminedandchemicalsspreadbyfloodwaters.Theintegrityofundergroundtankswhichstorehazardousmaterials(e.g.,gasolineoroilsupplies)maysimilarlyposeathreat.Barrelsofstoredchemicalsorwastescanbemovedbysimplyfloatingawayand,sincemanyofthesecontainersarenotlabeled,theymayconstituteanunknownlevelofhazard.Unexpectedhazardousmaterialsproblemscouldemergeinthepost-impactperiod.Lafornaraetale(1978)citesuchhazardsintheirworkontheJohnstownFlood.Theyshowthatfooddistributingfacilitiesmayfacehighbacterialcountsandhazardouschemicalsiftheirrefrigerationsystemsfail.Gasesmaycollectinthearea,causingexplosions.Commercialestablishmentsandhouseholdsthatstorechemicalsposeanotherthreat.containersmaybedamagedintheflood,leavingtheircontentstoleakandmixwithotherchemicals.Also,gasesfromrupturedtanksorpipelinescouldaccumulateinsewersystemsandcauseexplosions.SecondaryhazardousmaterialshazardsalsooccurredduringaJanuary,1992hurricane.TheSundayNewsJournalofWilmington,DE(A-1)reportedthat,"RisingwatercausedseveralheatingoiltankstooverflowinBowersBeach...[Director]oftheDelawareDivisionofAirandWasteManagementsaidcrewswouldbegintocleanuptheoilsoon.EnvironmentalofficerswerealsoinvestigatingareportofleakingjetfuelinthewateroffPortMahon."Thisincidentreinforcesthatsecondaryhazardousmaterialshazardsarearecentandseriousconcern.Fewstudieshavebeencompletedonthisveryimportantproblemregardingthepotentialsecondaryeffectsonhealth,safety,propertyandthephysicalenvironment.Tierney(1980,1982)hasdoneworkonapplyingthelessonslearnedinnaturaldisasterresponsetohazardousmaterialsresponse.Onefactorstressedwasthatcommunitiesshouldbeundertakingaplanningprocess,notgeneratingdocumentsbasedon"model"plans.Theobjectiveofthisstudyistoexaminetheorganizationalresponsetohazardousmaterialsincidentsafterfloodingwithregardtotheregulations,procedures,andplanningthatgovernedaffectedlocalities.Theproblemwasframedintermsoforganizationaltheory.Organizationaltheoryholdsthatorganizationalactionsareaffectedbythedynamicsofbothinternalandexternal(orenvironmental)forces.Organizationalboundariesandconstraintsactupontheabilityoftheorganizationtoaccomplishtasks.Inthispaper,Iwilldescribethehazardous1

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materialshazardsthatoccurredinonecasestudyoffloodingandhoworganizationshandledthem.II.ResearchQuestionsThefollowingresearchquestionsdrovethisstudy:*Aresitesroutinelytestedafteramajorfloodoristheassumptionmadethatnoincidentsoccurred?*Aretherecriteriawhichdeterminewhetherornottestswillbedone?*Musttestingbeperformedwithinatimelimitinordertoeffectivelymitigatedamages?*Aretestingmaterialsandequipmentvulnerabletoflooddamage?*Aretherefactorsthatfacilitateorinhibittesting?*DoconcernedcallsfromthepUblicfacilitateresponse?*Doesalackofaccessibilitytositeshindertasks?*Aretheemployeeswhotestthesitesintheareaafterthefloodtodotheirjobs?*Aretherehigherriskstoemployeesinvolvedincheckingsitesafterafloodthaninnormaltimes?*Musthazardousmaterialsrespondersobtainclearancetotestasite?Ifso,istheauthoritywhichgrantstheclearanceavailableaftertheflood?*Atwhatpointdohigherofficialsbecomeinvolvedinthelocallevelresponse?*Istheredifferentialresponseorattentiontodifferenthazardousmaterials?*Isthepublicnotifiedofhazardsorvulnerabilities?*AtwhatpointisthepUblicwarnedorevacuated?*Innormaltimes,howmuchattentionisgiventoavoidingfloodplainswhenhazardousmaterialssitesarechosen?*Isthereconsensusonwhatkindofhazardousmaterialsresponsewilltakeplaceafteraflood?*Areofficialsawareofwhatactionsaremandatedunderlawsand2

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regulations?*Arethoseinvolvedintheoverallcommunityemergencyresponseawareoforconcernedaboutthehazardousmaterialsrisks?*Intheresponseperiod,doanysites,situationsorpracticesbecomeproblemsthatwerenotforeseeninplanning?*Howareunforseenhazardshandled?Asevidencedfromtheresearchquestions,thisstudywasintendedtoexaminethenatureoftheplanningandresponseforhazardousmaterialshazardsafterflooding.Thesequestionsweredesignedtoexplorewhetherinvolvedpartiesanticipatedpotentialhazardousmaterialshazardsandviewedthemasvalidconcerns.III.MethodologyTheresearchstrategysuitableforthisproblemwasthatofface-to-faceinterviewsconductedwithanopen-endedinterviewschedule(APPENDIXA).Contactsinthefieldweretreatedas"informants"fortheirorganizations.First,keyactorsintheorganizationsundertakingthecommunityresponsetothefloodwereinterviewed.Agenciesinwhichinterviewswereundertakeninclude1)firedepartments,2)policedepartments,and3)emergencymanagementagencies.Interviewswiththeinformantswereusedtounderstandthegeneralprocessesoftheorganizationalresponsetotheflood.Second,interviewswereconductedwiththosewhohavedutieswithhazardousmaterialsinnormal suchasthoseworkingwithenvironmentalregulationenforcement Suchinformantsprovidedbackgroundinformationconcerningstateregulationswhichgovernedhazardousmaterialsresponses,plusinformationaboutthequick-responsehazardousmaterialsworkthatwasnecessary.Inall,eighteenface-to-faceinterviewswereconducted.Lastly,documentanalysisofplansandrecordswasalsoemployedinordertogivegreatercontextandverificationtotheinterviewmaterials.Thefollowingcriteriawereusedtodeterminetheselectionoftheresearchsite:1)thelocalityhadsiteswherehazardousmaterialswerepresent;and2)therewerehazardousmaterialsrespondersfortheareawhowerelocallybased.Fieldworkwasundertakenassoonasitwaspossibletogainentranceintothefloodedarea.Itwasimportanttoarriveasquicklyaspossible.Themoretimethatpassesbetweentheeventandaninterview,themorelikelyitisthatinformantshaveexperiencedretellingandsocialconstructionsof"truth."Sincethefieldworkwasundertakenquickly,theeventwasfreshintherespondents'minds.3

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IV.DescriptionoftheFloodingEventAseriousfloodingincidentinthesouthernunitedstatesoccurredinthespringof1991andservedastheresearchsiteforthisstudy.Theflooding,duetotorrentialrain,wasmainlyconfinedtoonestate.Therainensuedforaboutonemonth,fromearlyApriltoearlyMay.Initially,thefirstwaveofrainsimpactedthenortheasternregionofthestate.Onelocalnewspaperinthatregionreportedthat1,371homesweredamaged.Temporaryhousingcostswereexpectedtobe$900,000.By May10,1991,thestate'smajornortheasterncityhadreceived44.42inchesofrain,surpassingitsaverageannualrainfalltotalof43.8inchesattheearliestdateinrecordedhistory.Thiswasveryunusualasthecity'saveragerainfallwouldbe17.2"atthattimeoftheyear.Asecondwaveofrainsinundatedthenorthcentralandnortheasternregions.Atotalof3,913homesweredamagedthere.Temporaryhousingcostsforthoseregionswereexpectedtobe$3.5million.Successively,17countiesacrossthenorthernpartofthestateweredeclaredfederaldisasterareas.Thisenabledresidentstoapplyforstateandfederalloansandgrantsfordamages.Grantstoindividualhomeownerswereexpectedtototal$9.2million.Intotal,5,284homeswereflooded,resultinginanestimated$46millionindamages.Thoughthenorthernpartofthestateislargelylowriverbasinlandthathasasubstantialhistoryofflooding,thiswasnotjustanotherflood.Thiseventqualifiedasaone-hundredyearflood,asareasthatusuallydonotbecomeinundatedwereunderwater.Insomeareas,itwasconsideredafive-hundredyearevent.Theonlycomparableeventinthenorthernregionoccurredinthe1950s,andthisdelugesurpassedit.Respondentsinamajornortheasterncitynotedoneparticularbenchmarkofthisflood'simportance.Theriverrunningthroughthecityreachedthelevelofthecity'srailroadbridge.Theriver'screstof50.2feethadsurpassedtherecordsetintheearly1950s.Thiswasseenasproofthatthefloodwasindeedanunusualevent.Compoundingthesituationinthenortheast,aseriousexplosionoccurredatachemicalplantwhilesurroundingareaswerestillunderwater.Theplantwaslocatedonthebankofanoverflowingriverandwasjustmilesawayfromfloodedcommunities.Theplantwaslocatedwithinthecitylimitsofasmalltownof1500residents,allofwhomwereevacuated.Chemicalcontaminationoftheairresultingfromtheplantexplosionwasaprevalentconcernandonereasonfortheevacuation.FieldworkinvestigatingtheaboveeventswasundertakeninearlyMay,1991.Interviewswerecompletedatdifferentgovernmentalandorganizationallevelsinseveraljurisdictionsacrossthenorthernpartofthestate.Inthisstudy,detailswereobtainedaboutthehazardousmaterialsrelatedincidentsthatoccurred.Furtherideaswerealsoexploredaboutincidentsthat4

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couldpotentiallyoccur,butdidnot,asaresultofthiscaseofflooding.v.organizationsInvolvedinFloodingandHazardousMaterialsIncidentsAbriefdescriptionoftheorganizationsatthisresearchsitethatareinvolvedinfloodingandhazardousmaterialsincidentsisneededforacompleteunderstandingoftheresponsetotheevents.Thestateregulatoryagenciesarekeyactorsinhazardousmaterialsincidents.Recently,becauseofhigh-levelpoliticalsupport,thestateenvironmentalregulatoryagencywascreated,anddrasticallyexpandeduponfunctionsthathadpreviouslybeenundertakeninotheragencies.Newlawsalsoempoweredthemwithsubstantialenforcementcapabilities.Thestateenvironmentalregulatoryagencyisresponsibleforenforcingpollutionregulationsandlawsonavarietyofcounts.Thatagencyisdividedintoseveralsectionsthateachhaveaspecificfunction.Thereisaspecificsectiontocontroltheoperationofundergroundstoragetanks,waterquality,airquality,solidwaste,hazardousmaterials,andhazardouswaste,forexample.Theagencyalsoemploysthequick-responseteamwhichrespondstohazardousmaterialsemergencies.Membersofeachsectionandthequickresponseteamarelocatedindifferentregionaloffices,toensuregoodcoverageofthestate.Theagencywasactiveininvestigatingthehazardousmaterialsemergenciesdescribedinthenextsectionandintestingtheairandwaterqualityafterthechemicalexplosion.Anotherstateregulatorybody,identifiedhereasthestateresourceconservationagency,enforcescontrolsonoildrillingoperations.Theyestablishregulationsonhowtheoilandgasproducersacquiretheirproductanddisposeoftheassociatedwastes,forexample.They,too,operateindifferentregionsofthestate.Cityandcountyfiredepartmentshavefirefighterstrainedinhazardousmaterialsresponses.Departmentswereinvolvedintheresponsetosomeoftheincidentslistedinthisreportandwereactiveatthechemicalexplosion.FiredepartmentscanalsobetherepositoryforinformationrequiredunderthefederalSARATitleIIImandate,the"communityright-to-know"law.Companiesarerequiredtoprovidetherepositoryagencywithlistsofthechemicalstheystoreon-siteandafacilityemergencyplantobeusedincaseofanincident.Inthecaseofthechemicalexplosion,thecountyfiredepartmentheldthedocuments.Policeentitiesatdifferentgovernmentallevelsbasicallyperformthesamefunction.Theyaretoprovidesecuritytoemergencysitessuchasthefloodedareasorchemicalplant,inthiscase.Theirmissionisalsotocontrolcrowdsandevacuatepeople.Someentities,suchasthestatepolice,haveacadreof5

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officerstrainedinhazardousmaterialsresponse.Thoseunitsactasfirstresponderstovariouskindsofhazardousmaterialsincidents,includingspillsonthehighways.Theseofficersareassignedtoeachregiontoensurecoverageofthestate.VI.HazardousMaterialsIncidents,ResponsesandProceduresDisplacementofUndergroundstorageTanksIncidentssixundergroundstoragetanks(USTs)floatedoutoftheirtankholdsatfourdifferentlocationsduringtheflooding.Thesesixincidentsoccurredinthenortheasternregion,whichcontainsatotalof3,000tanksat1,100facilities.Thenorthwesternregioncontainsapproximately1,300tanksbuthadnoincidents.Alloftheaffectedlocationswereconveniencestoresthatusedthetanksforgasolinestorage.Suchincidentsoccurwhenthewatertablebuildsupunderneaththetankpad.Thepadisusuallymadeupofcoarsematerialssuchaspeatgravelorsandsoitactsasaconduitforwater.Sincegasolineislighterthanwater,italsohelpsthetankfloatup.Asitrises,itpUllstheconnectionlines.Thiscouldcauseabreakageintheproductlineandgasolinecouldbelosttotheenvironment.Thefirstcaseinvolvedtwotanksthatwerefullofgasoline.Theywereintheprocessofbeinginstalledandworkerswerepreparingto"tightnesstest"thetanks.Therewasonlyasandybackfillonthetopofthetanksatthatpoint.Whenthetankpitcollectedstormwaterrunoff,thetankspoppedup.Nogasolinewaslost.Inasecondcase,a10,000gallontank15%fullofproductsurfaced.Ithadonlybeenunderearthencover,sowhentheroofofanearbybuildingdrainedrainwaterintothetankhold,itrose.Thetank'srisewasaidedbythefactthatitonlyheld1500gallons,soitwasverylight.Fortunately,itdidnotappeartoloseanyproduct.Thethirdcaseoccurredatafacilitybeingpreparedforclosure.Theconcreteovertwotankshadbeenbrokeninpreparationfortheremovalofthetanksandallproducthadbeenremoved.Whentherainensued,rainwaterflowedintotheconcreteholeandbothtankssurfaced.Sincethetankswereempty,thisincidentwasnotproblematic.Thefourthcaseinvolvedan8,000gallontankunderearthencover.Itwasemptyexceptforsomepossibleresidualamountof20-40gallons.Inthiscase,itisnotclearwhythetanksurfacedsincethefacilitywasonahillabovethewatertable.Possibly,rainwaterpercolatedthroughthesandybackfillandsoilandfilleduparoundthetank.Respondersobservedthatthetank'sproductlinewasseriouslybentbutnotruptured.still,therecouldhavebeensomeproductlostinthisincident,asthereappearedtobegasolinefloatinginthewater.6

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Suchaconclusionismorecomplicated,though.Thelostproductthatwasobservedcouldhavebeenasaresultofspillageandoverfillthattookplaceatthattankholdinthepast.ResponseAstateenvironmentalregulatoryagencyrespondentexplainedthatthetankownermustcallthefiremarshall'soffice(becauseofthefirehazard),thestatepolice,andtheUSTsectionofthestateenvironmentalregulatoryagency(responsibleforthecleanoperationofthetanks)whenincidentsoccur.Theregulatoryagencyinitiallytreatsitasanemergencysituation,andafieldinspectorquicklyrespondstothesceneinordertoremovethetanksandproceedwithclosure.Thatway,ifanyproductispresentitcanberemediatedwithoutseriouspermanentdamage.Theinspectordetermineswhetheritisanemergencysituationornotonlyafterarrivalon-site.Aftertheinspection,theownermustcontracta pumpservicecompanytocloseoutthetank.Theownerwillusuallybefamiliarwiththecompanyastheyalsoinstallandrepairtanks.Followingprocedure,theregulatoryagencyrequiredtheclosingoutofallsixtanks.Theagencyrespondentexplained,"...whatwe'lldoaspartofourroutineUSTclosureprocedureishavethemdosomeanalyticalsoiltestingfrombeneaththetanksandthatwilltellusifwehaveaproblemwithcontaminationintheimmediatearea."Theusualclosureprocessinvolves30daysnotification,butsincethesewereemergencysituations,theprocesswasexpedited.Hecontinued,"...mostofthetankshavebeenremovedorwillberemovedinthenextdayortwo.IIThistimeframerepresentsuptoaboutaweekaftertheywerereported.Respondershadnoproblemwithaccessibilitytothetanksbecauseoftheflood.Thefieldinspectoraskedonetankownerthebestroutetotaketogettothesite,sincesomeroadswereclosedbecauseofflooding.Goodinformationwasreceivedandnoproblemswereencounteredingettingtothefacility.Also,thepumpservicecompanieswereavailabletoworkonthetanks,evenmoresothanusualbecausethebadweatherhadshutdowntheircurrentprojects.Also,sincethefourtankincidentsweredeemedemergencies,theregulatoryagencyandpumpservicecompaniesdroppedwhattheyweredoingandattendedtothesituations.Therewerenoproblemswithequipment,whichisportable,andcouldbeprotectedfromthefloodwaters.concerningworkload,theregulatoryagencyrespondentexplainedthat,"we'reoverwhelmedbeforethefloodandaftertheflood.IILowbUdgetshavealwayspreventedthehiringofanadequatenumberofpeopletodealwiththeoversightofanentireregion.Thefloodjustexacerbatedthisnormalcondition.7

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Experience,Preparedness,andMitigationMostofthestateregulatoryagency'sworkisdoneonacasebycasebasis.TwoagencyrespondentsreportedthatthesurfacingofUSTsisarareoccurrencethathasonlyhappenedincidentallyinthepast.Precautionsthatcanbetakenbeforefloodingincludemakingsurethefillcapsandfittingsontopofthetankaretight.Aregulatoryagencyrespondentfurtheradvisesthat"sandbagscanbeplacedontopofthetankholdareas,probablysomeontopofthefillportsandmaybesomeforballast.Theymayputsomesandbagsaroundthemtotrytokeeptheoilbackfromaroundthefillpoint."Hewarnsthattheremaybeseveralinchesofwatersittingontopoftheconcrete,whichisontopofthetanksthemselves.Therespondentnotedthatthepumpservicecompaniestoldhimthattheyspoketotheirclientsaboutprecautionsbeforetheflooding.Theyadvisedthat,"...ifyouhaveanyfacilitiesthatlooklikethey'regonnaflood,makesureyoudothesethings,makesureyourtankistoppedoff...andkeepyourtankstoppedoff,makesureyourfillportsaregoodandtight,thecaps,soyoudon'ttakeontheoil."Therespondentreportedthataformalplanforoutliningprecautionsdidnotexist.Hesaidthattheprecautionstakenweretheresultofthepumpservicecompanies'goodthinkingaboutpotentialproblems.Mitigationcanbeundertakenintheinstallationphasebystrappingthetankdown.Retrofittingthetankonceitisinplaceisverydifficult.Strappingthetankisdesirableinfloodproneorshallowwatertableareas.Aconcretepadispouredatthebaseofthetankhole.Thetankswouldthenbeputinontopofthepad,andmetalstrapssecuredacrossthetank.Thetankwouldthenbeanchoredinplace.RegulationofUSTsinNormaltimesTherearetwokindsofUSTs,chemicalUSTsandpetroleumUSTs,whicharebothregulatedbythestate.Thereareveryfew(lessthan10)chemicalUSTsinthenortheasternpartofthestate,butmanyareusedbyindustryinthesouthernpart.PetroleumUSTsareusedbyretailfueldistributersbutalsobyindustries,whichkeepthemtofueltheirfleetvehiclesandgenerators.Normally,ifaleakissuspectedata UST, asoilsampleistaken.Ifthesampleshowscontaminationandevidencethatgasolineoranotherchemicalhasfiltratedintothegroundwatersupply,thenasiteassessmentisdone.Onestateenvironmentalregulatoryagencyrespondentexplained,"Wegooutandlookattheentireareatodeterminetheextentofthedamage.Thatwouldinvolveaseriesofsoilborestothegroundwatertableandinstallationofgroundwatermonitoringwells.Thatusuallydoesn't8

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occurasaresultoftanksfloatingup."Thereisagoodworkingrelationshipbetweenthepumpservicecontractorsandthestateenvironmentalregulatoryagency.ThecompaniescooperatebyreportingleaksfromUSTs.statelawrequiresthatapersonawareofaleakfromaUSTmustreportitin24hours.Anyonecanbeheldresponsibleforfailuretoreport.Thepumpservicecontractorsreportmoreleaksthantheownersthemselves.Innormaltimes,themajoroilcompaniesarethegroupthatismostincompliancewithregulationsconcerningtheproperoperationofUSTs.Theywanttokeepafavorablecorporateprofilesotheystaycurrentwiththelaws.Theonesthatarethemostaffectedbythelawsarethesmallcompanyowners,andtheindividualtankowners.Forinstance,the"momandpop"grocerystoreownersusuallyaren'tawareofthestateregulationsgoverningUSTs.Whenthestateundertakesaroutineinspectionoftheirtanksandfindsouttheyarenotincompliance,theownersareusuallynotawareofthefact.Whentheyrealizethecostsofupgradingtobeincompliance,theyclosethesystemdown.ActualandPotentialIncidentsatoilFieldsRegardingReservePits,TanksandWellsThemostevidentimpactfromrainandfloodingontheoilandgasbusinessisthatitslowsdown.Locationsbecomeinaccessible,equipmentcan'tbemovedsincethegroundissoggy,andwellsaretakenoverbywater.Therisingwatercausesmoreofaproblemthanrain.Thenortheasternpartofthestatewasinvestigatedforoilwellproblemsconcerninghazardousmaterials.Inthisarea,therewere300fields,somesmallands'omelarge,containing30,000-40,000wells.Small,independentcompaniesoperatethesewells,asopposedtothe"majors"suchasExxon,MobilandChevron.ResponsesThestateresourceconservationagencyforoilfieldsreportedthatafewwellshadtobeshutinbecausethefloodingwouldmaketheminaccessible.Anagencyrespondentsaidthatwhentheoperatorsoftheoilwells,the"pumpers",seethatthelocationisgettingtoowet,theyrelocatetheoilthattheyhavealreadyextracted.Thisentailstruckingouttheoilthatisusuallystoredina210-barreltankonthelease.Thepumpersusuallyknowthehistoryoftheirwells,whichcanbe50-60yearsold,andcantellwhichwillbeaffectedbyflooding.Theyknowtheyneedtogoshutthemdownanddrainthetanks,orputwaterinthetanksandbalancethemtopreventthemfromtippingbecauseoftherisingwater.Becauseoftherain,thepumperswerewatchingfor9

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problems,theresourceconservationagencyrespondentsaid.Headded,though,thatsomepumpersmightnotawareofthefloodinghazards,andtankscouldhavetoppledover.Thestateresourceconservationagencyhadreportsofdrillingpitsandreservepitmudsbeinginundated.Themudswereleakingthroughnaturaldrainage,butnormallyarenotreleasedintotheenvironment.Asawellisbeingdrilled,thecuttingsfromtheeartharecirculatedintoalargepitabout100'x200'and6-8'deep.Inthreeinstances,flashfloodwatersincreeksroseabovetheirbanksandinundatedthesepits.Someofthecontentsflowedoutasaresult.Mostoftheproductsassociatedwithoilandgasarenon-hazardousoilfieldwaste.Thesedrillingmudsarenotasharmfultotheenvironmentasaretheoilandsaltwaterextractedintheprocess.Evensaltwaterandoilareconsiderednonhazardouswastesbythestateregulatoryagencyinthiscontext.Potentialhazardsarecontingentonwhatelsetheoilandgasoperatorsaredoinginpractice,forinstance,iftheyhaveanticorrosionwelltreatingchemicalstheyareinjectingintothemUd.Ifa55-gallondrumcontainingsuchachemicalwasopen,andflippedoverandleaked,itcouldbeaproblem.Itcouldcontaminatefloodorgroundwatersandacleanupwouldbenecessary.Theresourceconservationagencyrespondentnotedthatsmalleroperatorscouldhaveabarrelsittingontheleaseandifwatergottoit,thatcouldhappen.Acasesuchasthatwouldprobablygounreported,however.Asfarasresponsetothereservepitproblem,oncereported,aninspectorfromthestateresourceconservationagencywillgooutanddocumentthecasebycompletinganinspectionreport.Noteswillbemadesothatnexttime,apitwon'tbelocatedinthefloodedarea.Initially,whenthedrillingrigmovesintoalocation,theoperatoristoassessthebestlocationforthepit.Itmustberemembered,though,thatwhenthereisaone-hundredfloodsuchasthisevent,therewillbepitoverflowsthatwerenotexpected.Theresourceconservationagencyrespondentnotedthat"I'msuretherearesomewellheadsunderwater."Awellheadmightextend4-8feetabovegroundbutwellsareaclosedsystemthatarenotpronetoleaksatthewellhead.oiltravelstothesurfacethroughlinestothestoragetanks.Itisaclosedsystemuntilthereisaleakinthetankorthetankflips.AwellheadsUbmergedisnotaproblem.Accessibilitytotheoilfieldinstallationsisaprobleminfloodingevents,soitcannotbeknowniftherearespillsonalease.Neitherresourceconservationagencyrespondersoroperatorscangettothelocations.Oneenvironmentalregulatoryagencyrespondentnotesthatitisusefultoremember,though,thatanyleakwouldbedilutedtoagreatextentbythefloodwaters.10

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MitigationandExperienceTherehasbeenexperiencewiththeseproblemsbefore.Manyofoilandgasoperatorsarelocatednearthebanksofonelargenortheastriver.Oneyearbeforetheevent,inanotherflood,theriveroverfloweditsbanksintoanoperatingarea.Twospillsoccurred,bothsimilarinnature.Inoneoftheincidents,a210barreltank1/4fullofoilbecamebuoyantandturnedover.Betweenthetwotanks,about20-30barrelsofoilspilled.Alltanksareopenatthetopasavent,sothecontentsspilledoutthetop.Therewerereportsoftheoilonthewater,asitisnoticeableastheoilspreadsoutverythinly.Bythetimetheseincidentsarereported,theproductisusuallydowntheriveranddispersedsothereisnotmuchthatcanbedone.Becauseoftheseexperiences,theresourceconservationagencyrespondentsaidthatthecountyemergencymanagerandhelearnedtheirlessonsandtookaction.Theytaughtoperatorsthatiftherewasathreatofhighwateragain,theyshouldeitheremptytheirtanksorfillthemwithwater.Watercanbeaddedtothe0i1withoutseparatingit,andisneededtoweighdownthetanksoitsoitdoesnotbecomebuoyant.Thisprecautionaryadvicewasspreadthroughtheresourceconservationagency'sfileroom.Astheoperatorscamein,theyweretoldtodotheseprocedures.Thereisgoodrapportbetweentheagencyandtheoperators,andtheyfrequentlygooverprocedures.Forinstance,theagencyrespondentnotedthatintheeventofanoilorsaltwaterspill,theoperatorsknowthattheresourceconservationagencyandthestatepolicemustbecontacted.InterruptionofCleanupsinProgressFloodingandheavyraininterruptedthefollowingongoinghazardousmaterialscleanupsinprogress.1.MitigationataBoatDockCleanupOnecleanupoperationthatwasdisruptedinvolvedagasolinelineleadingtoaboatdockthathadsprungaleak.Theleakoccurredontheedgeofthelakeandthesoilhadtobeexcavatedasitwascontaminatedwithgasoline.Sofarintheoperation,thelinewasexcavated.Workershadalreadystartedtoremediatethatareabyremovingandreplacingthelineandremovingthecontaminatedsoils.Whentherainbegan,thelakestartedtorise.Theoperationhadtobedelayedbecauseofthehighwater,whichfloodedtheareathatwasexcavated.Thatiswherethejobstoodasastateenvironmentalregulatoryagencyrespondentreplied,"untilthelakebeginstosubside."Precautionsweretakentoavoidanyfurtherdamagetothesite.Theareawasbarricadedwith11

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apetroleumabsorbentboomtopreventanygasolinefromreachingthelake.2.InterruptionofaBatteryAcidCleanupTherewasanotherincidentwheresevereweatherincreasedahazardousmaterialshazard,althoughtherewasnofloodinginvolved.Theongoingcleanupinvolvedavehiclethatwascarryingaloadofelectricalstoragebatteriesforelectricallyoperatedvehiclessuchasgolfcartsandgocarts.Theacidthatwasleakingfromthebatterieswasofconcern.Anywaterthathittheaffectedareacouldcausedilutionofthebatteryacidandcontaminaterunoff.Fortunately,becausethecleanuphadprogressedfarenough,thatsituationdidnotoccur.Thejobwasvirtuallycompletebeforethebadweatherstruck.Thebadweatherhaltedthecleanupforabout30minutes.Everythingwasveryquicklysecuredandworkersreturnedtotheirvehiclestochecktheweatherreport.Fortunately,theworstpartofthestormdidnotgothroughtheareaofthecleanup.Thecrewgotbackoutandfinishedthecleanup.Concerningtheinitialresponsetotheincident,thequickresponsehazardousmaterialsteam,contractors,andotherrespondersdidnotexperienceaccessibilityproblemswhenrespondingtothesite.AirplaneHangerEventResultingfromHeavyRainsandWindAweather-relatedhazardousmaterialsincidenttookplaceatalocalregionalairport.Duetowindsthatwerebetween85and90mph,oneofthehangerscollapsed.Someoftheaircraftthatweretrappedinsidehadtoberemovedinanenvironmentallysafemanner,sothatnofuelwasallowedtoleak.Partiesmovedtoavoidapotentialleak.Acontractorwascalledtoremovethecraft.Also,firedepartmentsandthestatehazardousmaterialsquick-responseteamwerenotified.Theoperationwasverytediousbecauseofthebadweather,whichcontinuedthroughouttheprocess.Theoperationwascompletedwithoutanyenvironmentalimpact.Onerespondentfromthequickresponseteamsuggestedthatluckwasontheirside,astheoutcomecouldhavebeenworse.Sincetheweatherhadgottensobad,mostofthecleanupcrewsintheareaaroundtheairporthadstoppedworking.Thatmeantthattheywereavailabletorespondtothisparticularsituation.Anotherbenefitwasthattherenormallyisgoodcoverageforenvironmentalcleanupsinthisareabyprivatecompanies.Oneparticularcrewkeptonworkingandfinishedthejobinasafemanner.Therewasnoproblemwithworkersnotbeing12

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abletorespondtothesite.Thecompanywasabletoquicklygettothelocationwithoutanyaccessibilityproblems,andwaseventherebeforethehazardousmaterialsquick-responseteam.InundationofLandfillsasaResultofFloodingThenorthwesternregioncontainsatleast8landfillsand75100surfaceimpoundments(operatedatindustrialfacilities).Therewereproblemswiththeinundationofonelandfillwhichacceptsindustrialandmunicipalrefuse,butnothazardouswaste.Theproblemsarosebecauseofrainwaterratherthanrisingfloodwaters.Therewasnoproblemwithaccessibilitytothesite,andtwopeoplefromthestateenvironmentalregulatoryagency,onefromthesolidwastesection,theotherfromthewaterqualitysection,inspectedthelandfillatdifferenttimes.Thepipingatthesitewasnotadequatetoremovetheeightmilliongallonsofwaterthatwereentering.Thestormwatercameincontactwithcovermaterialintwocellsofthelandfill,butnotwithwaste.Asixfootboomwaslaidtosegregatethecontaminatedwater.Permissionwasgrantedtouseaportablepumptodischargewateroff-site.Wheneveralandfillorsurfaceimpoundmentdeviatesfromtheirdischargepermit,theymustnotifythewaterqualitysection.Inthiscase,anaccidentaldischargepermitwasgrantedbythewaterqualitysection.Thestateenvironmentalregulatoryagency'ssolidwastesectionhasonlypermittedtheselandfillsandsurfaceimpoundmentstoincludefloodstandardsfor5or6years.Approvalfordesignandconstructionmustbegrantedbythesectionbeforethefacilityisbuilt.Thisistheonlytimethatprecautionscanbetaken.Thefacilitymustemploystructuralmitigationtowithstandinundationfromatwenty-fiveyearorone-hundredyearflood,dependingonlocation.TheregulationsalsostatethattheplanforthefacilitymustbesignedbytheCoreofEngineerstoensurethatitisnotlocatedinafloodpronearea.Inthepast,theregulatoryprocesshaltedtheconstructionofonelandfillbecauseitwasfoundtobeinafloodpronearea.Routineinspectionsalsohelpkeepthefacilitiesincheck.Alllandfillsareinspectedquarterly,whilesurfaceimpoundmentsareinspectedsemi-annually.Unfortunately,aschangesindrainageoccurfromincreaseddevelopmentofroadsandneighborhoods,facilitiesmayflood.Usuallysuchchangesaregradualandtheeffectscanberecognizedbeforeamajorincidentoccurs.InundationofSewageSystemsandWastewaterTreatmentPlantsSeveralmunicipalsewagetreatmentsystemswereinundatedbytheflood.Theywerethesourceofmostofthesewageproblems.13

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Refinerieswhichoperatetheirownwastewatertreatmentsystemsandhavetreatmentpondson-sitewerealsoinundatedbyflooding.Sincetheirpondsarelocatedatthelowestelevationontheplantgroundstoensureflowbygravity,theyareeasilyflooded.Anumberofspillsoccurredatonerefinery,whichhadahistoryoffloodingafterheavyrain.Callstothestateenvironmentalregulatoryagencywaterqualitysectionfromresidentsconcernedaboutwatercontaminationdoubledortripledduringtheflood,arespondentinthatsectionreported.Testsfordrinkingwatercontaminationfromsewagearemainlytheresponsibilityofthestatehealthdepartment(asaddressedinthenextsection),butthewaterqualitysectionalsochecksthewaters.Thesectionplannedtoinvestigatethesituationduringtheirnextregularlyscheduledcheck,insteadofanemergencycheck.Accessibilityproblemsduetoclosedroadswerepreventingwaterqualitypersonnelfromgettingintosomeofthefloodedareasrightaway.Precautionstobetakenforthesewageandwastewaterproblemarefew.Onewaterqualitysectionrespondentcommentedthattherewasnotmuchonecoulddoabouttheproblemexcepttodocumentthatithadoccurred.Henotedthatthereislittlethatcanbedone,"notwhenthey'reinundated7feet."Itwasn'tjustifiableorpossibleto"spenddoublethemoney"toprotectsitesthatmaynotevenbeinsucharareone-hundredyearflood.Hedidmentionthattheformulationofaplanfordownstreamsamplingoffloodwatercouldbeuseful.Concerningmunicipalsewagetreatmentproblems,anotherwaterqualitysectionrespondentnotedoneprecautionthatcanbetakensosewagestationsarenotoverrun.Insomelowareas,manholeshavebeenelevatedsowatercannotinvadethemasquickly.PossiblecontaminationofWellsTrailerparkandindividualwellswereinundatedbyfloodwaters.Whendistributionlinesbecomewashedoutastheydidinthisflood,theymustberepaired,chlorinatedandflushed.Also,watersamplesmustbetaken.Ownerswereadvisedonhowtoflushthewells,ataskthatcanonlybedonewhenthewatergoesdown.Someareaswereinaccessible,sothedepartmenthadtowaitafewdaystofollowuponcomplaints.Thestatehealthdepartmentissuedvoluntaryboilordersforseveralareas.Pastexperienceswithsuchinundationhavetaughtthehealthdepartmenthowtoeffectivelycarryoutboilnotices.Thedepartmentnowalsoissuesinformationonfoodcleanupandhealthtipsduringthefloodedconditions.Thedepartmentalsoattendscivildefensedepartmentmeetingstobeupdatedonpreparedness.Inthepast,therehasbeennohazardousmaterialsinteractionwithwellsduetoflooding,butaspillofhazardousmaterialshas14

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enteredawellsystemwithoutfloodingpresent.Inthatcase,thewellshadtobeclosedandnewwellsdrilled.Astatepolicerespondentwarnedthatthereisalwaysthepossibilityofharmfulchemicalsinthesoildriftingintowells,sotheymustbemonitoredifthereisaconcern.InundationofanAutomobileJunkyardDuringtheflooding,therewasaproblemwithawreckingyardgoingunderwater.Thegasolineleftinvehicletankswasspillingoutofthewreckedcars.Originally,whenthecarsarebroughtintotheyard,allfluidsarenotdrained.Theoilpluswhatevergasisleftinthetankisstillinthecar.Ifthegasolinecapisremoved,whenthefloodwaterinundatestheyard,itfillsthetankandthegasolineisreleased.Thegasolineislighterthanwater,also,sothataidsitsdistribution.Arespondentfromthestateenvironmentalregulatoryagencywaterqualitysectionnotedthattheywouldhavetoaddressthatprobleminthefutureasatpresent,itisanunregulatedactivity.PotentialReleaseofTransformerFluidsinFloodwatersDuringtheflooding,aresidentcalledthestateenvironmentalregulatoryagencyandreportedthatatransformerhadbeenhitbylightening.Atransformerandpolefellonapropertyadjacenttothehorneofthecaller.Thecallerwasconcernedthatthewaterthatwaswashingacrosstheiryardmightcontaincontaminatedmaterial.Thepowercompanyinvolvedtookcareoftheincidentquicklyandtherewasnoproblemwithalossoffluidsfromthetransformer.Theresidentwascorrecttoanticipatesuchahazard.Itisnotunusualforatransformertobestruckbylightening,andtheproblemwiththereleaseofPCBfluidsispossible.Inthisparticularregion,themajorityoftransformershavebeenremediatedinthatallofthePCBcontaminatedtransformeroilshavebeenremoved.Therearesomeoldertransformersstillinuse,though,thatstillhavetheoldconfiguration.Nevertheless,thepowercompanywouldcheckalltransformersthatareinvolvedinsuchincidents.PotentialforTransportationRelatedSpillsofHazardousMaterials1.BargeAccidentsonWaterwaysAstatepolicerespondentwarnedthatbargeincidentsshouldbeexpectedintimesofheavyrainsandriverrise.Inthepast,15

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therehavebeensuchbargeincidentsinthenortheasternregion,butnoneoccurredinthisfloodingevent.Therespondentdescribedanincidentwhereabargeranintobridgepilingsandwasturnedoverintheriver.Acityfiredepartmentrespondentreportedanincidentwhereabargethatwascarryingammoniastruckabridge.Thereweresomeproblemswithwhatjurisdictionwasresponsibleforsuchanincidentontheriver.Aftertheevent,thecountycivildefensedirectordiscussedtheplanagain,whichclearlystatedjurisdictionalresponsibilities.Thiswasdonesoitwouldbeclearwhatjurisdictionwouldactastheprimaryresponderinafutureincident.Asthiscasesuggests,therecouldbeahazardousmaterials/oilspillassociatedwithsuchanincidentdependingonwhatkindofchemicalthebargewascarrying.Accordingtoonecountyplan,rivertrafficishighestonthelocalriverduringthespringandsummermonths.Atthattime,thereareabout6-8towswith3bargespertow(6000tonsperbarge)ofanhydrousammoniamovedpermonth.Inthewintermonths,thethreatislessened,buttherearestilltwotowspermonthofcausticsoda.Incaseofanaccidentofthistype,itisthestateenvironmentalregulatoryagencywaterqualitysection'smandatetotesttheriverwater.Thebargeaccidentsarerelatedtohighwater.Whenthecurrentisswift,tugboatscannotpushtheheavybarges,whichweighasmuchasafewtrainloads.Theworkonthetug'senginesincreasesasthecurrentgetsswifter.Thestatepolicerespondentremarkedthatonthedayoftheinterviewabargecouldnotbeallowedtotraverseontheriverbecausethewaterlevelwassohigh.Therewouldbethepossibilityofdamagingaleveeaswellifonedidattemptthetrip.2.TruckingAccidentsandAssociatedSpillsinBadWeatherAstatepolicerespondentmentionedthattruckingaccidents,andtheirpotentialassociatedhazardousmaterialsspills,aremorelikelyintimesofbadweatherandflooding.Hereportedthatinthenortheasternpartofthestate,onanygivenday,about5,00010,000truckscrossedtheinterstatescale.Probably17-20%ofthemwouldbecarryingsomekindofchemical.Thisfactisaddressedinonecountyhazardousmaterialsplanstudied.Theserespondentsemphasizethataccidentsarenotusuallyflood-related,butweather-related.Also,moreaccidentsoccurwhenitisrainingthanwhenitisnot.VII.TheAddedThreatofaChemicalPlantExplosionWhilelocalitieswerestillenduringfloodedconditions,anotherdisastereventoccurred--anexplosionatachemicalplantwhichhadprincipallymanufacturedanhydrousammonia,anextremely16

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toxicsubstance.Theplanthadmanyotherhazardousmaterialsonsite,accordingtothecountydisasterplan'sannexonhazardousmaterials.Underextremelytoxicsubstances,theplantreportedtohaveformaldehyde,nitricacid,sulfuricacidandchlorineon-site,inadditiontoothers.ThefacilitywasincompliancewithSARATitleIIIrequirements;ithadfileditsappropriateMaterialSafetyDataSheetsandhadalsosubmittedafacilityemergencyplanandresourcelist.Theplantemployedapproximatelyfourhundredworkers,eightofwhomwerekilledbytheblast.Overonehundredemployeeswereinjuredbytheexplosion.Thepowerfulblastshatteredwindowsofneighboringhomesandaschool,anddownedtelephonepolesandtrees.Agasstationlocatedacrossthestreetfromtheplantsustainedheavydamages.Thesurroundingtownof1500residentswasevacuatedaftertheexplosionbecauseitwasnotknownifthefirewouldemittoxicfumes.Theevacuationincludedalocalhospitalwhichheld20patients.Local,state,andfederalentitiessuchastheOccupationalSafetyandHealthAdministrationandtheEnvironmentalProtectionAgencyrespondedtothescene.Policeorganizationsevacuatedresidents,closedroadsandcontrolledaccess.Firedepartmentsaddedtheirresourcestofighttheblaze.ThelocalcivildefenseorganizationalsorespondedandanEmergencyoperationsCenterwasestablished.Thestateenvironmentalregulatoryagency,includingthehazardousmaterialsquick-responders,wason-sitetotestairqualityandthequalityoftherunoffwater.Mainhazardousmaterialsconcernsregardedairqualityaroundtheplantandthequalityoftherunoffwater,whichwasresultingfromboththeinternalfiresuppressionsystemandthefiredepartments.Therewasinitialconcernwithasbestosbeingknockedoutofthenearbyhighschoolauditoriumceiling.Aplantrepresentativeresolvedtheissue,though,bymeetingwithschoolboardrepresentativesaboutamanagementplanforcleanup.Airqualityaroundtheplantwasfoundtobewithinacceptablestandards.withregardtorunoffwater,althoughtheplantwasdesignedtocontainthiswaterinitsownpipingsystem,thereweresomeproblems.Onewaterqualityagencyrespondentexplained,"Theylostsomeoftheirchemicalswhenthevesselsexploded...Theirfiresystemwentonimmediatelyspreadingwaterandthewaterhastogosomewhere.Sincetheylosttheirpower,itwentdownthestormwaterdrain.We'vebeenmonitoring,takingsomesamples,aswell.IunderstandtheyhadbarelyreportablequantitiesofTMPpropaneandpossiblysomeformaldehydeproblem.Otherthanthat...OSHAisnotlettingthemtakethewateroff,soitswaterbroughtontothepropanetank.Sothat'sasourceofrunoff.Sountilthat'ssettled,they'regoingtohaverunoffproblems.Assoonastheygettheflowdowntomanageitwiththeflood,17

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they'regoingtodivertittotheirtreatmentsystem..."[Thereis]aslightorganicpollutionproblem.ButagainitsflowingintothefloodedareaandIdon'tconsideritaproblem.Itsgoingtosomelakemoreorless.Therunoffwillgointosurfacedrainageandgetintoadrainagesystem.Partofitgoesintotheriverbutsincetheriver'ssohigh,itwillflowback.Youprobablycouldn'tdetectita1/4milefrom[theplant],butwe'restillconcernedaboutit...Fortunately,therewaslittleinteractionbetweentheexplosionandtheflood.Thefloodinnowaycausedtheexplosion.Respondersdidnotreportanyproblemsingainingaccessibilitytothesitebecauseofclosedroadsorfloodwaters.Oneenvironmentalregulatoryagencyairqualitysectionrespondentnoted,though,thatsectionsofamajorhighwaywereclosedbecauseoffloodingonlydaysbeforetheexplosion.Thepotentialforhazardousmaterialshazardswasalsoveryreal.Althoughtheareaaroundtheplantwasnotunderwater,plantpropertywaslessthanablockawayfromanoverflowingriver.Iftheriverwaterhadbeenhigher,theresponsecouldhavebeenmuchmoredifficulttocarryout,andchemicalhazardsenteringthiswatermighthavebeenmoreofaconcern.Therewerenothazardouschemicalreleasesintothefloodwaters,althoughtheywereanticipatedanddiscussedbycitizensandresponders.Onerumorwarnedaboutthepossibilitythatcontaminatedrunoffwatercouldbeenteringthefloodwaters.Thisrumorpromptedcallsfromcitizenstotheenvironmentalregulatoryagency.Anotherrumorabouttheexplosionwarnedthattheimpactoftheblastwouldweakenaleveeandthefloodwaterwouldpushthroughtofloodmorehomes.Twodaysaftertheevent,alocalnewspaperaddressedbothrumorswiththefollowingstatements:"'Runoffwaterusedtofightthefireisbeingcontainedontheplantsite,eliminatingthethreatofgroundcontamination.'...'Therearenochemicalsleakingonthegroundorintothewaterusedonthefire.But,justincasesomebodyisworriedaboutit,theplantisdesignedtocontainthatwater,anditsdoingjustthat.'...'OfficialsfromtheEPAand[thestateregulatoryagency]willcontinuetomonitorthesiteforthereleaseofhazardouschemicals.Chemicalfireexperts,includingtheheadof[thecorporation's]firefightingdivision,havebeencalledintohelpwiththecleanup...'...Hesaidtheleveeholdingbacktheswollen[local]riverwasnotdamagedorweakenedbytheblast,assomeresidentsfeared.'Wehaveinspectedtheleveeanditwasunaffectedbytheblast.Thereisnothreatofitbreaking,'hesaid."Someorganizationsreportednoorganizationalstrainfromrespondingtoboththefloodandexplosion,butothersdid.Forinstance,onesizablecityfiredepartmentreportedthattheirorganizationwasstrainedbythefloodingeventandtheexplosion18

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astheyhadtocallinoff-dutypeople.Therewasalotofovertimeandemployeesthatworkedmanyshiftsbecamefatigued.TheRedCrossandSheriff'sofficewerereportedly"stretchedtotheirlimits."VIII.ConclusionsSecondaryhazardsafterfloodingwereviewedasrealconcernsbyrespondersatthisresearchsite.Overall,everydayplanningandresponsetechniquesforhazardousmaterialsincidentswereusedashazardswereidentified.Experiencewithhazardousmaterialsincidentsonaday-to-daybasismadetheseresponsesnotunlikeanyother,eventhoughtherewerefloodcauses.Forexample,responsestosomeincidentsbythestateenvironmentalregulatoryagencyfollowedeverydayproceduresbutwerecarriedoutwithmorequicknessandpriority.Insomecases,responderswenttothesitequickly,dealtwiththeinvolvedparty,andfoundoutwhathappened,buttheresponsemostlyconsistedofdocumentingtheoccurrence.Inothercases,anaccidentwascleaneduporcontained.Inmostcases,theresponsetohazardousmaterialsproblemsduringfloodingdidnothaveadiscernable"emergencyperiod."Thesewererathersmallevents.Theagenciesnormallyinvolvedinhazardousmaterialsincidentsresponded,andotheragenciesdidnotemergeintothepicturebecauseofthefloodingaspect.Therewerenodifficultiesobservedregardingcoordinationbetweenagencies.Thisstudydescribedpreparednessandmitigationtechniquesthatcouldbeemployedtolessentheprobabilityofflood-relatedhazardousmaterialsincidents.Undergroundstoragetankscanbestrappedinwithsteelbandsduringconstructionorsandbaggedasheavyrainensues.oilwellfieldscanbeshutinwhenwatersriseortheiron-sitetankscanbeweigheddown.concerningsewagehazards,manholescanbebuiltupafewfeetsothatfloodwatercannotaseasilyentermunicipalsewagesystems.Permittingstandardsareusedtositelandfillsawayfromfloodproneareas.Mitigationforlandfillsandindustrialfacilitiestakestheformofstructuralmeasurestowithstandfloodsuptocertainlevels.Regardingthechemicalexplosion,thepotentialinteractionofhazardousmaterialswithfloodwaterswasaconcernofofficialsandcitizens,whichalsocausedittobeaddressedthroughthemedia.Overall,theorganizationalresponsetotheexplosionwasmoreelaboratethantheresponsestothehazardousmaterialsincidentscausedbyflooding,althoughmanyofthesamegroupswereinvolved.Thisstudyidentifiedfactorsthatcouldfacilitateorimpederesponsestohazardousmaterialsincidentsafterflooding.Factorsthatfacilitatedtheresponsewereidentifiedbytherespondentsasthefollowing:19

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*organizationalexperienceandpreviouslessonslearnedaboutfloodrelatedhazardousmaterialsincidentsoftenhelpedpreparednessandresponse,asinthecasesofundergroundstoragetanksandoilfields.*stronglegalrequirementsonnotificationensuredreportingregulatoryagencies.spillreportinganddischargebypartiesandresponseby*Intheairportcleanupandundergroundstoragetankcases,badweatherhadalreadyhaltedthecleanupcontractor'sregularwork,sotheycoulddevoteextraattentiontotheemergencysituations.*Concernedcallsfromthepublichelpedinidentifyingthetransformerproblemandthefloodingofcertaindrinkingwells.Respondentsalsoidentifiedfactorsthatcanimpederesponseasthefollowing:*Accessibilitycanimpederesponsestocertainincidents,dependingonthenatureofthehazardtobeinvestigated.*Tanksorbarrelscouldtoppleonindustrialsites,oilfields,orotherlocationsandgounreported.*Smallcompanyowners,suchasthosewhooperateoilwellsorundergroundstoragetanks,areoftennotawareofregulations.Theymightalsobecaughtunawarebyafloodandnotknowhowtotakeprecautions.Thisstudyidentifiednewevidenceonpotentialhazards:*Agentsotherthanflooding,suchasincessantrainandhighwinds,actedascatalystsintheseincidents.*Thereismixedevidencethatbadweathercanhaltorslowdownahazardousmaterialscleanupinprogress.Theeffectswoulddependonwhatstagethecleanuphadentered.*Transportationspills,suchasbargeaccidentsandhighwayhazardousmaterialsspillsfromtrucks,maybemorelikelyintimesofbadweatherandflooding.*Thevehicleoilandgasolineleaksintothefloodwatersatthejunkyardpresentedanunforseenhazardthatcouldbeaddressedinfutureregulations.20

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LITERATURECITEDLafornara,JosephP.,HowardJ.Lamp'l,ThomasMasseyandRalphLorenzetti.1978"HazardousMaterialsRemovalDuring1977Johnstown,Pennsylvania,FloodEmergency,"InformationTransfer156-160.SundayNewsJournal.Wilmington,DE."BriefsOverflow,"January5,1992,p.A-10.oilTanksTierney,KathleenJ.1980APrimerforPreoarednessforAcuteChemicalEmergencies.Newark,DE.:DisasterResearchCenter,UniversityofDelaware.1982DevelopingaCommunity-PreparednessCapabilityforSuddenEmergenciesInvolvingHazardousMaterials.DRCArticles#154.Newark,DE:DisasterResearchCenter,UniversityofDelaware.

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APPENDIX AInterviewGuideTHEFLOODING1.Tobegin,couldyougivemejustabriefdescriptionofthisagency'sresponsetothefloodingthathasoccurredoverthepastfewweeks?2.Havetherebeenanyhazardousmaterialshazardsthathavesurfacedduringthetimeoftheflooding?3.Havetherebeenanyhazardousmaterialschecksthathavetakenplaceduringtheflooding?Howaboutaftertheflooding?Employeesavailable?Accessibility?Authorization?Equipment?4.Havetherebeenanycallsorothernotificationsabouthazardousmaterialsduringthetimeoftheflood?5.Havetherebeenanyrumorsorscaresabouthazardousmaterialshazardsduringthetimeoftheflood?6.Havetherebeenanyproblemswiththequalityofdrinkingwaterduringtheflood?7.Howhavetheindustries,includingthefertilizerplants,beeneffectedbythisflood?8.Havetherebeenanyproblemsconcerningchemicalhazardsinhouses,commercialestablishments,orindustriesduringthisflood?9.Whendoyouthinkthefloodingsituationwillbebacktonormal?1

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THEPLANTEXPLOSIONWe'realsointerestedintheplantexplosion,10.Wastherebeenanyconnectionbetweenthefloodingandtheexplosionoftheplant?11.Hastheexplosionexacerbatedthefloodingsituationinanyway?12.Wasthereanyproblemwithchemicalhazardsaftertheexplosion?13.Wasthereanytestingorcheckingoffloodwaters,airorlandforhazardousmaterialssafetyhazardsaftertheexplosion?criterionforsafety?Whenchecked?Whatsiteschecked?14.Havetheresourcesofthisorganizationbeenstrainedbetweenthetwoemergencies?DISASTEREXPERIENCEThenextfewquestionsareaboutthedisastersthiscommunityhasundergoneinrecenthistory.15.Whatfloodinghasoccurredinthepast?16.Whathazardousmaterialsincidentshaveoccurredinthepast?17.Hasthereeverybeenanyinteractionbetweenfloodingandhazardousmaterialsincidentsinthepast?2

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HAZARDOUSMATERIALSSITES Now,I'dliketoaskyouaboutthehazardousmaterialssitesandindustriesthatusesuchmaterialsinthiscommunity.18.Whathazardousmaterialsdumpsitesarelocatedwithinyourjurisdiction?SITE12 3456LOCATION TYPE HISTORYPROBLEMS19.Couldyoupointoutthesesitesonthismap?20.Wereanyofthesesitesunderwaterintheflood?21.Whatindustriesinthiscommunityhousehazardouschemicals?SITEINDUSTRYNAME123456LOCATION3HISTORY TYPEPROBLEMS

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22.Whatrecordsordocumentsexistabouthazardousmaterialsinthiscommunity?Superfundsitesinthearea?TitleIIIdocumentationofchemicalshoused?Mapsofdumpsites?HAZARDOUSMATERIALS/FLOODINGPLANNINGNowI'dliketoaskyousomequestionsaboutemergencyplanning.23.Doesthiscommunityundertakeplanningforflooding?24.Doesthiscommunityundertakeplanningforhazardousmaterialsemergencies?25.Couldwehaveacopiesoftheseplans?26.Arethereareasofthefloodplainwhichcontainhazardousmaterials?[Ifso,doesthatcauseanysafetyhazards?]27.Areanyprecautionsforhazardousmaterialssitesneededbeforefloodwaterscorne?28.Whatorganizationsareinvolvedinhazardousmaterialstasksinthiscommunity?12344

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ORGANIZATIONALNowwewouldliketoaskforsomeinformationaboutyouragency.29.Howmanyemployeesworkforthisorganization?Divisions?30.IsthereanorganizationalchartthatIcouldcopy?31.Couldyoudescribethechainofcommandinthisagency.32.Whoorwhatleveloftheorganizationmakesdecisionsabouthazardousmaterialssites?33.Whoorwhatleveloftheorganization,ifany,makesdecisionsaboutfloodemergencies?34.Howdoesinformationgetpassedinthisagency?changeduringtheflood?5Didthat


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