Federal officials say the general public should first call 911 if they witness a hazardous material (hazmat) emergency such as a transportation crash involving vehicles carrying hazmats. If it is possible without putting oneself in danger, report the size and markings of the vehicle, specifically the color of the placards and identification number. Please note the following organizations that have important information on hazmats:
• National Response Center (NRC) - The NRC is the national point of contact for reporting all chemical, radiological, and etiological (disease) discharges into the environment anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. Employers are required to notify the NRC whenever reportable quantities of hazmats are spilled or released into the environment. The NRC is never closed, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Contact them at: (800) 424-8802
• National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Information for employers/employees. Available on line at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npg/npg.html or by calling (202) 512-1800, the U.S. Superintendent of Documents.
• U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's
(OSHA) Hazmat Standard 29 CFR 1910.120 (q) Emergency Responders and
Hazardous Waste Operations can be found at:
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -
The EPA works with
• State Emergency Response Commissions (SERC) - SERCs are required in each state by the Superfund Act. They designate the emergency planning districts, appoint local emergency planning committees, and supervise and coordinate all activities. Contact information can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/ceppo/serclist.htm
• Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) -- LEPCs are appointed by SERCs. They develop emergency plans that prepare for and respond to local chemical emergencies. It receives emergency releases and hazardous chemical inventory information submitted by employers and other local facilities. To locate and contact your LEPC visit: http://www.epa.gov/ceppo/lepclist.htm
• U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission - http://www.nrc.gov
• U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) - http://www.ntsb.gov/default.htm
• Personal Protection Equipment information can be found at http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/er/hazsubs/equip.htm
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)-provides technical publications, training courses, seminars on these issues as well as having transportation and environmental practice specialty sections. Information can be found at http://www.asse.org, email@example.com or by calling (847) 699-2929.