Speaker 1: The broadcast is now starting. All attendees are in listen only mode.
Sasha Laferte: Hi, everyone. And welcome today's webinar on Emergency Response Preparedness. My name is Sasha and I will be your moderator for today. Before we get started I just want to give you a brief overview on what today's webinar is going to entail as well as a short introduction for our speaker today.
Today’s webinar will start with a slide tour presentation by our in-house expert Kevin Coulon. The webinar will educate attendees on how to prepare for and react during an emergency response situation. A variety of scenarios will be addressed including but not limited to mercury spills, unstable chemicals, water and sewer land breaks, oil spills and more. Our attendees will learn how to create and implement plans and trainings prior in emergency situation, what information you should provide to a responding contractor and what to expect when they arrive.
At the end of this webinar there will be an open Q&A. You can ask questions by typing them into your chat pane on the right to ask your questions. So just to kind of I reiterate that, nobody needs to raise their hands or anything like that? Just type the questions in and I will moderate. I'll ask the questions to Kevin and he will respond.
Unanswered questions will be answered and sent out in an email after the presentation. In addition to the questions, all attendees will receive a recording of the presentation as well as a copy of the doc used today. So you will receive a copy of the presentation sometime tomorrow.
Today's speaker, Kevin Coulon is the Preventive and Maintenance Services and Emergency Response Manager for Triumvirate Environmental New England Region and as well he manages the waste water department routine field services decontamination and on-site support. He also manages the emergency response program for all of New England, overseeing the program and responses. Kevin in his role also provides assessment of facilities from a regulatory standpoint and provides detailed reporting, reports his findings to health clients reach full environmental and safety compliance.
Having been with Triumvirate since 2005, Kevin also has experience as a branch manager, [00:02:09] trainer and environmental specialist.
And with that I will turn it over to you, Kevin.
Kevin Coulon: Thanks, Sasha. My name is Kevin Coulon. I do run the Emergency Response Program for Triumvirate Environmental. And today's activity is we're going to help prepare you on what to expect during the what can seem as a long time or could be a short time between when you call on an emergency response or when your responders show up to your site.
But before I get into I would like to ask Paul to the entire audience on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the most prepared, how prepared would you say your organization is for an ER situation?
Sasha: All right, great. Thanks guys. Looks like a lot of you have already responded and a majority of you seen think your program is at a three level when it comes to ER situation preparedness. So, Kevin I’ll turn it back to you.
Kevin: Today's agenda that we're going to cover some scenarios that are out there. And these scenarios hopefully sparks some interest if it hasn't happened at your facility or you haven’t thought you have an emergency in that area. You may start to go look into that area one more time. And we're going to cover critical information. These should be the information that you give to the responding companies so that they know correctly what supplies or so to come up to the facility and how to clean up the spill.
Just a couple of fascinating ER calls that are coming in and some of the messages or some of the information that has come over that can lead to not being able to respond appropriately and then you find out when you get on site, it's different on what was called in.
Some ways to prepare and then looking at worst case or best case scenario of how if you get have a worst case emergency response how can you turn that into a best case for clean up?
And then the last part will just be questions.
So the first part with scenarios we're going to cover chemical scenarios, some overflow scenarios, confined space scenarios and then the big one that's always out there is a mercury scenario. What would happen if you had a spill or an emergency response related to one of four of these four topics?
The first topic is chemical. Chemical has been out there for emergency responses. Responding to an unstable chemical found during a move or a clean out. So if you're moving your facility or someone leaves and you're cleaning out your facility and come across an unstable chemical, one way to prevent this is creating a tracking system and maintaining those unstable chemicals and making sure that they are being inspected. And if they are coming close to their expiration, they are being removed.
Coming across an unstable chemical that can't be moved now come the fact that you do have an emergency and you usually have to come in early in the morning around 4 AM to either deal with the chemical, deactivate the chemical or package it for shipment.
The other type of chemical scenario that's out there for, that has become an emergency response is gas cylinders. Gas cylinders are covered under [00:06:03] and DOT for shipment as well as OSHA for storage. One scenario that came up is actually a cylinder that could be tipped over that was only secured by a coat hanger. And going around and inspecting areas on how to prevent that type of emergency will help responding to a gas cylinder release.
The other one is a chemical spilling in a lab setting. Labs do use or put them on to chemicals both wet chemicals and dry chemicals and the spills tend to happen usually right outside the hood.
The other one is odor problem, some unknown odor. When someone comes in and complain for a smell that's inside of a lab and if it is unknown, it needs to be treated as an unknown. I can remember one that was responded to that was a complaint to the smell that was similar to cyanide but turned out to be actually an air freshener.
And the other one that's out there is a spill during a chemical delivery. This has to do with loading docks and trucks coming in. And have you looked at the process for when a loading dock is used by a chemical delivery truck? And is there a catch basin there? Where does it lead to? Does it lead to the sewerage? Does it lead to containment? And just knowing what you would do in the event that that type of release happened or has a hydraulic line or a break line right on the truck as it sits in your loading dock.
And the other thing to think of in a loading dock is if you lease your space. Is it under your responsibility or is under the landlords for when you go to call it in?
The other one that's out there if you're on the Northeast the water sewer line breakage especially right now with the cold, The water lines and the sewer lines that have broken or backed up or frozen and have created issues where the flooding elapsed space or you flood a hospital space for the backup sewer line. And this can be worst case scenarios in planning on what you would do in the event of this. We'll really help you get through it.
And then drums, containers overflowing or leaking. This has to do with having sensors whether the drum is going to, do you have a drum [0:08:26] that's going to tell you when it's full or do you have something that's going directly into a drum where you have direct pipe into a container. And do you have overflow gauges and if you tested them to make sure if they work?
The other one is similar to a drums but that's treatment tanks. That's usually around the waste water tank or just standing tank and do you have an overflow alarm. Does that send a message out to you or is it only a light that’s flashing? By going in there and testing in the alarm to see if there is an audible alarm with it will help prevent having the treatment tank overflow.
The other one's out there is confined space. Confined space has multiple different areas whether it's an elevator shaft. It can be outside in a catch basin. It could be outside in a water separator. It can also be in a treatment tank. And just knowing that you have steps in place to block off these areas and in most cases you're calling in someone else to enter these areas to clean out.
And the case of the elevators, it usually involves getting both the response company and the elevator company to raise the elevator and lock it out so that the company can get in clean out the elevator shaft which can take a little bit, a little bit more time than anticipated for your clean up.
And then with the treatment tanks, the scenario that's out there is if you have your sinks or pipe directly to your treatment tanks, do you have signs that stop people from pouring materials down that drain that don't fit into either your storm water discharge permit or if you have a local POTW discharge permit.
In these cases, do you have the ability to shut off the outflow from that tank in the event something like dichloromethane was accidentally put down the drain? If you can't put organics into your treatment system, then how do you stop that from going out or release it into the environment? Something like that is something to look at for the outflow of your tank to make sure you do have that safeguard in the event something does happen and someone calls in that an accidental release that went down the drain.
And the final scenario out there that’s a big one is mercury. With mercury, a mercury pulls into having to do air monitoring, having to do screening. It's also knowing how – what level of clean your facility is looking for. And also does everybody know how to identify a mercury?
If you have a janitorial service that goes in and they mop the floor and there's mercury on there and this has been seen previously where a janitorial service goes in, mops the floor and then continuously mops the hallway. In those cases you end up having air monitoring both in the room and then you have to clear the hallways prior to releasing it back so that people can use the areas.
And then, what mercury is knowing what your levels are for your state for your local DEP or for what type of agency you are. You’re looking to get down to parts per billion or are you looking to get down to parts per million for air particles for mercury. This will really help your responders for when they show up to know what level they need to go down to. Do they need to bring a [0:11:59] mercury meter? Do they need to bring a [0:12:01] mercury meter?
With those scenarios, I'll just highlight a few leading to after a scenario does happen it's the critical information that needs to be passed around. It's the where, the what, the who, the when and the how. And these five questions are very big when it comes to responding. It's going to let you're responding company know exactly what they're coming for and what to expect.
And what the critical information you do have, the behavioural incidents that causes ER and what happens is that the majority of incidents usually respond to at night, during the weekend, early Monday morning, holidays, or late in the day on Friday when people are trying to get home.
It's not to say that emergencies don't happen during the day because they do but a lot of them happen on these times when not everybody is there. And the person who may be calling it in is the person who's there that caused the spilling and not actually the one that would be the incident commander for your facility calling the spill.
So what critical information could you provide to your response coordinator, contractor? You want to recognize at the information exchange it is going to shape the emergency contractor’s decision. It's going to shape how many people are sent out? That's going to shape up to be what type of equipment will send out there whether it's air monitoring, the type of PPE that's needed. Is it a release to the environment and are you going to need to remove some soil?
And this is going to be your biggest staff at the beginning of your emergency response. And this is also going to allow for the contractor to provide some recommendations as next step while waiting for the responders to show up on site. This part of the recommendations can really help especially if you have a spill that could potentially release to the environment.
Let's say you had one inside your facility and it's via drain and that drain goes direct to sewer. Well, then the recommendation would be to if you can safely do it to block off that drain and that could be putting down oil or it could be covering the drain with a rubber mat. This could be the same thing for when it spill outside.
If you have a spill and it's on asphalt and you have soil or grass nearby, you want to protect it so it doesn't get to that soil or that grass. And some recommendations with that would be put down boom. Put down oil boom or put down paths to stop the leaks, a leak or to put down sand bags, something to help prevent it from getting to other types of medium.
The other part that you’ve got to need to put over is you want to make sure that your name and phone number of the person who'll be on site is given. Sometimes you're the incident commander but you're working from off-site and you're the person for your facility that's on call for that particular week and you got the phone call and you call in the spill but you won't be the one that they’re looking for onsite.
If that's the case and there's someone else, you want to make sure that your responding company does have the name of that person and how to get a hold to them preferably both for cell phone and a landline.
The chemicals involved that have been spilled are going to determine what type of PPE your respondents should bring with them and whether you have an MSDS available. Sometimes the spill could be a compound that you've created at your facility. It could also be something that has trade secrets that you may have to let know what type of PPE. If you can't share the MSDS but at least we would know what type of PPE as it may not be a compound that has an MSDS out there.
And then the other thing is the site address – the building number, the building name, the room number, or the area that has the property. In some cases, your facility may be under one address but in that one address you have ten buildings and each building has its own number or it may have its own row in the building or its own column within the building.
You want to make sure that what you're responding company know how to recognize the building either by visual, if your buildings are colored, if they're shaped on the outside or what to look for to make sure when they get onsite they know exactly where to go to.
And then has there been released to the environment or is it contained within the building? If released to the environment, you might find the media that was affected. Was it soil, was it ground water, service water, concrete, asphalt? If it was to an area that's concrete or asphalt, is it on an epoxy floor?
And the other thing is if you're on a wetland. Can it get into the wetland? It may not be in the ground water or surface water but you do have a nearby wetland.
And then if it's released on the drain, define where the drainage goes. Does it go to a treatment system? Does it go to a direct sewer? And in some cases they respond to where the drain goes is, “I don't know. We have a [0:17:41] drain. We're not quite sure what that is.” Now, one way to get around that is to at some point put a camera and the drain and follow it to see where it goes.
You also want to know the quantity released. And this is going to be a big when it comes to state specific. Whether you're in mid-Atlantic, whether you're down to Florida, Pennsylvania, if you're in New York, Connecticut, Mass, a couple different states that have all different regulations for the amount that spilled.
If you’re here in Connecticut and it's one drop of petroleum product, it's to be reported to the DEP. If you’re in Massachusetts and it’s less than 10 gallons of diesel or oil, it doesn’t need to be reported. But once you hit that threshold, you do have to let the DEP know. In other states like in Maryland, that's any amount spilled you have to report to the DEP.
So knowing that amount and knowing where it spilled is going to help you identify who you need to call and who you need to report to. And in most cases when you call your responding company, they can also help you at that. Is it a spill and don't have the knowledge, they’ll help you know your next step should you call the DEP, should you call your fire department. But also knowing that upfront is going to help to prepare for what to do next.
And then what was the cause of the release? Was the cause of the release because you have an oil tank that released? Well, that's a quick clean-up of your oil to turn around how large it is.
Or if it's outside of your facility and you have a truck that drives up into your turbine accidentally punctures their gas tank and now it's on your facility, the question could be is this yours or is it the truck company? That's something that can always be brought up right away. But if you know where your property line ends and calling in or not calling in and making sure that that company does clean-up, you do want to know what that causes and who was responsible.
And the other critical information which is kind of the biggest information when calling is what other agencies have been contacted already? Is the fire department there? Is the DEP there? Is OSHA there?
It's going to help shape up how your emergency response happens because each one of those departments is going to have their own lead. And in most cases, you want to make sure that as new contractors or new agencies come in that you have one representative from each agency that talks for one person from your facility to make sure that there's one message that's going across to everybody.
In that way, they only go to one to get their information. If you have multiple people from the fire department and five people from the fire department are asking five different people, what happened? You may get five different stories and then it becomes a much larger emergency response than it is actually that you have.
And then also what actions have you taken prior to making the call? If this happened in a lab setting, have you had all the hood sections? Are they all been lifted to allow for ventilation? If it's outside and you don’t or if it's inside and you don't have woods but there are windows, are the windows opened to allow for ventilation? Or if that's an elevator room and your elevator won't let go and you put down a [0:21:22] in front of the door, well then your contracting company has got to know that when they show up. It's most likely they're going to be contained within that room and they can setup their [0:21:32] the room, their support zone and their decontamination zone right there in that area.
And then also what are your expectations for the clean-up? Do you just want the company to come in and remove the hazard and then you'll take care of the rest? Or do you want them to come in and remove the hazard, take samples, create a write up and do the whole entire report to the DEP or have a report made just to keep on file?
Knowing what your expectations and what level of clean-up was will help determine what type of crew comes out there. Do you need an engineering? Do you need an LSP there to take samples or do you just need a crew that will come here and remove the chemicals, package the chemicals and stage them somewhere in your facility?
The other expectation is you don't have room to store it and you also need those materials removed that day. And that can come into your DOT hours of service. And knowing if you need those pulled will allow for the company to make sure that there's a driver there that has hours with the vehicles to pull their waste that same day.
Just to go over a few fascinating ER statements that have come in. I'm not going to go through all of them but as you can see you can read them. Some of them do seem a little bit comical but have actually happened. One that's come in is, “If I call in a spill smaller than it really is, I will be charged less?"
When you ask that question there is in [0:23:14] regulations that requires that the incident commander is able to make decisions on that spill. So, if a spill does happen the person that's running it does need to be able to make monetary decisions as to if they gets into a soil and you need to remediate that soil right there and there because you're under a DEP action, they need to be able to give that go ahead.
And then, "Can you give me a quote before dispatching the response crew?" If you have a spill to the environment that goes into the same area that you need to be able to make those decisions and be able to cover to the monetary value to clean it up.
You also want to make sure that someone's there. You don't want to have this scenario where, "I'll not be there but knock on the door and someone there will let you in." You want to make sure that you have a point of contact onsite for when they do show up.
And then the, "I don't know what it is or how much are these but I need it cleaned up in one hour." Some of those cases it could be based on your contract, you ask someone there within an hour to two hours. But setting the expectation of knowing that it may take more than one hour for someone to get there and it could take their setup time then there's motoring and then there's cleaning up.
And then, "I realize it's midnight, but can you have a crew here in five minutes?" Most people do work from 7-5, response companies are there 24/7 but they do need to get people in and out to your facility.
And then, "I need you to clean up the elevator shaft." Question was asked if it was secured and locked out and the response was, "You're the response company, you're supposed to know that information."
That goes in when we talked about the scenarios of spilling on elevator shaft where you may not own the elevator, it could be a company. OTIS Elevator is company out there and possibly they own it and they need to come up and raise the elevator so you're response company can get into.
"There's a funny smell coming from this room. I only need one person that can come help figure it out." In unknown odor you're going to need more than one person. That's at least an entry in level B to do air motoring and then you also need two people outside as a rescue.
And then, "I'll take care of the spill." Has been a response that we've got and so we've said we'll send the crew out and then the person says that they’ll take care of it and we ask if they have training. "I don't need training. Emergencies don't require it."
Which to respond to an emergency there are different levels of response and making sure that the people that are onsite know what they can and cannot clean up. In the case of the mercury with the mop where someone was thinking that they were helping out when actually they spread the spill even more. So it comes down to training and really training people as to what they can do and what they should call in.
So a big part of this is how to prepare for hazardous materials and so now we've gone over a couple of scenarios and some things to think of as to when you do call in. You want to understand your potential scenarios. And the best way to do that and to prepare is to walk around with your key staff and or your contractors.
And when you think of who should walk around it's really if you're a large owner of a generator, you're going to have a contingency plan. Now, if you have a contingency plan, you've most likely identified who your spill response company is, who your fire department is, who your police department is and who the hospital is and you've sent a copy of that contingency plan to those agencies.
When you're thinking about contractors that should come, in if you're sending them a copy of your contingency plan you should open the door and invite them in to walk through so they know what they’re walking in too and to help identify where is a high level of risk, where is low risk, what-if scenarios. And it's usually a question and an answer and it's a free-form walking around of ‘what would you do if this happens’ or ‘what is your internal policy if this happens before they can see it in your contingency plan’.
You also want to assess your chemical storage practices. Are you testing for oxide forms out there? Do you have an old chemical inventory? Do you actually go through and remove old chemicals that are deteriorating so that when someone picks up that bottle it doesn't break and hit the ground? Do you have your chemicals in containment or are they stored by compatibility?
We have responded, I know that, I've responded to spill where it's a compatibility issue where a water reactive is to stored next door material with water and then you have off gas which results in an unknown odor and also with chemical hazards with a highly hazardous material.
And then also update your chemical inventory. By updating it you're able to attract those fire hazard chemicals or potentially energetic chemicals and also know what your high risk is per each row.
And assess treatment tanks. You want to make sure that if you have a treatment tank is there anything in place that will alarm you or a high water alarm or high level alarm and that could be, it also have a high level alarm for oil tanks.
If you have an SPCC probably you have a double oil tank, you're going to have a high oil, you'll also have going to have an alarm for if there is any materials in that secondary container or the double wall tank. You want to make sure that those do work so if there is an audible when you press the test button and it doesn't make sound, well then you should assess that so you make sure that you are prepared in the event something happens, you're going to be alerted of it.
And then identify your high risk areas spill. Now, you want to make sure that if you have an area where you're storing 20-25, 55 gallon drums, that's probably the area you want to start with your contractors. What are you going to do if you have a spill in that area?
And then if you are a large quantity, you update your contingency plan at least annually or if the contingency plan fails. And in the event that you are a small owner generator, if you’re conditionally exempt or a very small quantity generator, you don't have a contingency plan but you still should have a type of emergency action plan.
And have you reviewed that emergency action plan or are your incident commanders do they still work for your company? If you've had turn over and they're an incident commander, have you updated it to know that the correct person is contacted in the event of the emergency?
The biggest way to prepare for the hazardous material incident is training. Training is the number one way and training is really what's going to help get through that first hour or maybe two hours between when you call on a spill and when your spill response company shows up. You want to review observations from the survey that you did.
So if you walked around with contractors and knew things were pointed out during that walk through, then a new idea could be if you have a loading dock that does have a drain at the bottom. Do you store a rubber mat to cover that drain? And that could be as simple as putting an 8-inch PVC pipe with caps on each end attached to the wall right next to the loading dock. And in that way, if there is a spill somebody knows to run over there grabs that mat and covers the drain. And that could be some that comes up in a walk through.
We also want to talk about your worst case scenarios. So if you did have a thousand gallon tank of sulphuric acid that's sitting on your facility and after five years the bottom let's go and fills the entire area with sulphuric acid, how are you going to contain that and how are you going to take care of it? And what are going to be your emergency procedures within your facility? And how you get around managing and conduct mock drills?
You want to assess your meeting point areas. You want to asses who's going to take attendance in those meeting point areas if you have more than one. And you also want to look at who's going to get your visitor logged? The visitors have to sign in when they come to your facility. And if they do sign in, who are they with and are you going to go to that person to make sure that that visitor did get out of the building with you?
And also limit who can make the call for outside help. If you do have multiple people that are calling in during that time that where you're waiting for your response company to come out, you could be giving different information from each person so do you want to limit it to one person who's calling in.
And if you do need to make a switch and someone else was going to be taken over on the phone calls, you want to make sure you contact the companies that are coming out to let them know who's going to be taking over the responsibility. And make sure that they're knowledgeable of the facility. They don't necessarily need to be fully knowledgeable of what spill.
A part of that is during that time on calling in and waiting is you could be doing that investigation with the people who are in that area. You can find out what happened. What spilled, how did it spill, how much and where was. Once you gained that additional knowledge you call back to your response company and you let them know.
And in some cases that has happened where it's the company shows up and then one person gets sent back to get any additional materials because it wasn't brought up in the original call.
And then back to the being able to make the decisions to clean up the spill. The person who does call in should be able to make decisions as to during a full clean up. Asking for an estimate of how much it might cost towards the end. A lot of people do that.
But to not call in because they might cost money or you can't make that decision, part of being incident commander or the person that's calling in for you spills, you do need to be able to make that decision for your company because the DEP does show up, they're going to tell you a certain way that it needs to be cleaned up and they're just going to expect that you'll get it done.
Some other ways to prepare is to make sure you know when outside contract is going to be onsite and what they will be working on. So part of that is an hour can feel like 24 hours ago. It can also feel like a week in that one hour time period while you're waiting for them and you have a spill. It can sometimes be very hectic.
So asking for an ETA and also asking for updates keep time trainings. Let's say they get trafficked. Let's say they took an extra five minutes to get out the door. You do want to know the ETA for when they'll be there and definitely make sure that you are getting updates if the time does change.
And then also how clean do you want the area? And this goes back to our conversation before about only removing the hazards. Do you want a full decon or do you want a full write-up?
And you can also ask in these conversations the original one is you want to explain any additional steps you may have at your facility. So if somebody needs to enter an area that they have to do specific screening, let’s say they need to gown up because you have procedures or you have an area where all equipment needs to be decon prior to going in.
Those happens with some facilities. There are rooms where you have to go through and decontaminate everything going in there. Knowing that ahead of time will allow the contractors to know when they get there, the first thing that they're doing is they're reviewing the HASP, the Health and Safety Plan. They are getting suited up and they know that before they can clean everything they have to go through and actually do a pre-decontamination of their own supplies before entering.
And one of the things that you can do is you can prepare a simplified ER binder. This could be a copy of your internal communication plan. Who are you going to contact within your facility? Who are you going to contact for the high hazard areas or for the high risk areas? Do you want to have a list of phone numbers and pagers for your key staff?
And having that for key staff is great in the event that you have multiple things going on. You have someone that got hurt through the emergency response. You have the spill went under a door into one room that has a drain in it. And it's also in another room that is close to a sink. And having those keepers now where somebody can help the person that's hurt, you can have someone else blocking off a room and you have someone else who’s taking attended or you may the person that's orchestrating everything and having those key people to get a hold of will really help you out during that first time.
And then the phone numbers for your outside contractors so that you have them right at your fingertips to call them and to get them into your facility. Having a site map that's going to show where all of your meeting spots are. It's going to show where all your parking should be for your contractors, where they should go. It can also help you give them directions as to where to go once they get on site to get to their building.
And then also the information on the most dangerous materials and also an information on the highest amount of material that you have in your facility.
Looking at all of these and going through what you should prepare and how you should go through everything within that first hour can turn a worst case scenario into what could be a best case scenario.
The number one thing that you can do, during that time when it first comes in and during the time that you are waiting for your contractors to show up on site, is remain calm. You are the person leading this and you have everybody else. You have to be as calm as possible. You want to ensure that your staff is safe.
The staff is always going to be your number one concern. In that way having a list of your key personnel to help make sure that your staff is safe so you can go to each person and make sure everyone is accounted for – so you go to that one person and they may have the list and they're taking attendance or they have the visitor's log or you have one person that's dealing with someone that got injured. You have a point of contact and it can just be a quick phone call to make sure that they're okay.
You'll make sure that you do have accurate information; that it's gathered by the individuals involved with the spill or you could be calling it in but you weren't involved in the spill. Interviewing the people that were involved will help you give the correct information over to your response company.
And then, excellent information exchange is really going to be here your key factor. And the most amount of information, accurate information that can be pushed over will help make that from worst case to best case.
And then always having well-prepared staff. Training the staff, doing mock drills, testing your emergency response lines and almost all cases if you call your contracting response company and ask them to go through a mock drill, they're always going to say ‘yes’ and I'm sure the fire departments and the police departments that are on your contingency plan will do the same thing.
And in most cases fire departments do want to get in into the facility to see what you actually have. But being prepared is what's really going to affect your spill and turn the spill into a best case scenario. Although no one wants to go through an emergency response, you do want to make sure that you limit the amount of environmental impact during an emergency response and also the impact on the individuals that are involved.
Along with the information that was talked about here, we do have – on our website we do have some client education where we have round table program. We do have e-newsletters. We do have a client training program. It’s all on our website at triumvirate.com.
Part of what we do as a company with emergency response is we also try to do emergency response walkthroughs. If there's emergency response contract, you do want to get out there; you want to walk through them. You want to help and to make sure that you guys are well-prepared and also provides some information on what are the scenarios are out there and how potentially other people have doubt with these that they might not have on your facility to help you get prepared for an emergency response.
So at this time, I would like to open it to some questions based off the information that was provided today in the presentation.
Sasha: Yup. So, again just to remind everybody, if you have a question you can ask it in the question's pane. So just type in whatever you want to ask and I will moderate and ask to Kevin. No need to raise your hand or anything like that.
So first question is, what happens if someone's injured in an emergency response situation? What’s the best case? Do you deal with the person first or the spill first?
Kevin: I In the event the spill with, if someone is involved your best case when you have someone’s life that you are dealing with, when we talked about having key staff that you can reach out to. If you are coordinating it you do want to make sure that someone is attending to that person while you do have other people are attending or are closing that room.
You do want to make sure that whatever is needed or the person will have. And that also comes down to some potential preventive maintenance to help with an emergency and make sure that your, aisle walks, safety showers are working when someone wants to get a chemical off them. Or if you do have a first aid on site then you make sure people do have the equipment they need.
But in those cases, it is a case-by-case as it comes up. You do hope the emergency does not affect someone and someone doesn't get hurt. But having that and going through that test scenario of a mock drill and what would happen if someone get hurt and who would be the person that you would make sure that they’re assigned to the person who is injured and they can gather information which, if you do have to call medical personnel would be able to help with that information transfer.
Sasha: Great thanks. The next question is coming from Joe. He wants to know concerning the field oil spills. How clean is clean? Does the stain need to be completely removed or just all standing liquid?
Kevin: That can be answered in a couple of different ways and are also has a different state specific. Some states will say that they want all liquid removed. And it also has to do with what it spilled on.
If it spilled on a concrete path you do want to make sure that you get all of the liquid out. You can also do some wipe samples to ensure that there’s no more contaminations. It could also be get all the liquid removed and put pads down.
But if it is, let's say it’s in soil and you are reporting that to DEP, the DEP will say that they want it fully removal in that way, the stain would be fully removed.
There are areas where if you have parking lots and you do have it on asphalts and a car leaked oil, you got to be able to get up most of the liquid and that's usually done with the speedy-dry type material but unfortunately there are some stains that are left behind. But if the hazards removed and then you also checked that area [0:44:27] so see if you get any sheens – it is case by case and the DEP will – most DEP will notice that there are stains but you have gone through and you document that you cleaned up all the liquid was speed dry. Most DEP have accepted that.
Sasha: Great. Thank you. The next question is coming from Ayesha. She wants to know, “What guidelines can you provide when you have a situation involving the release of an unknown chemical or if you have an abandoned chemical outside of the building?”
Kevin: So we've had a couple of scenarios that have come up like this in the past. We have had – we've actually responded to an abandoned cylinder that was found outside of the building that was underground. And this was, “Wow, the company was breaking ground to expand.” In that case it is dealt with as an unknown. You don’t know what the material is.
But we have some research of what that facility was at that point; will help to identify the level of PPE. And in most cases we can usually ask questions with the person that's on site. But in all cases when it comes to an unknown we are at least going in under level B which would require at least four people. We have two going to and two at rescue during air motoring.
The air motoring if it's indoor and it's an unknown odor and it’s coming from a lab getting, the lab inventory will help get through that. Then you look to see what's in there and it can usually be scanned with a PID meter and you can go through and you test the area you can understand what it could possibly be. But in all cases, it's being entered at least in level B and I would shut off the area.
Sasha: Great. Next questions coming from Paul. He wants to know if you know what level of liability insurance emergency response venders normally carry.
Kevin: It usually differs company to company and that’s something that should be done when signing the contract is to get a copy or the certificate of insurance which should be provided by each contractor that you have and you can request that at the beginning of each year but it is company specific.
Sasha: Great. Caroline wants to know if you can talk a little bit about conducting drills. What are the different levels of realism?
Kevin: Conducting drills can really be a level that you want to do it that time, you could what you could consider to be a small spill which you could be a small spill of a liquid inside of a lab and go through scenario of, “Do you handle it internally or do you handle it externally in looking at what chemical type is?”
And in some cases we've had some companies that have asked to do multiple drills where they went through and did different scenarios throughout a month. We had one company that was on a river that asked to do river response as their worst case. And then, asked to do a person injured with the chemical spills.
It is really open to what you'd like to test on your facility. We have gone through multiple mock drills. We've also gone through once with cities where you had a large release. And how do you help quarantine the area and clean up the release?
To give guidelines on it would be based on what you have for a chemical inventory and the scenario that you have at your facility. The best thing to do to set that up is to do an assessment of your facility and maybe doing a walk through with your contractors.
Sasha: Okay, great. Just so everybody knows we have a lot of questions coming in. I'm not sure we’ll have the time to answer all of them during the webinar. But just as a reminder, you can still ask a question. We will make sure we get back to you after the webinar via email and we'll send a transcript of all questions after the webinar next week. So feel free to keep asking questions.
Next question is from Carissa. “For small mercury spills such as from household thermometers how should spill waste be discarded?”
Kevin: When looking at it from a household thermometer, if it's something that's at your house – it’s really regulating if people can bring material from their house into your facility. With being a facility if they brought they household thermometer and it spilled on your property, it is a clean-up and it should be collected as elemental of mercury if it did break.
It should be collected. It should have some air motoring. And also in some cases that these has had to happen where people have brought their own thermometers and it's broken and they walked through it, you also need to look at scanning the shoes, scanning the pants, socks. And in some cases that has happened where it had to confiscate and dispose of those materials as a hazardous waste.
So even though it is small, it comes down to limiting what people can bring in to your facility. In the event that there is in a house, we have responded to one where a house owned by a university. So it was university property and in that case there was going through and making sure that it wasn't in the floor. And in that case luckily it was on the linoleum floor and it wasn’t on a carpet.
But if you are looking at your facility and you do have houses that are owned by your facility that are either occupied by people that work at your facility, then they are most likely covered under your umbrella. And any type of mercury should be collected and managed as hazardous waste mercury unless you do analytical to determine that it isn't hazardous waste.
Sasha: Okay, thank you. The next question is coming from Mike. And he wants to know if hazardous materials can be stored in a cone x-box or a trailer.
Kevin: There are trailers that are out there that do store hazardous waste. When looking at the regulations, they are different state by state. And then, what you also have to think about is what’s actually being stored on them.
If it's flammables, do you have a plain storage permit from the fire department? So there are going to be different scenarios. In some scenarios that answer can be ‘yes’, that you can store hazardous materials in a trailer. And in other scenarios, it could be no that you can't base off it's a high amount of flammables that you don't have the correct amount of fire suppression.
So in that case, it will be a case-by-case scenario on what type of hazardous materials you are going to be storing.
Sasha: Okay. Keilian wants to know if someone has used to spill kit does that impact to response?
Kevin: It can. What it can do is that it can impact the response and in a good way. What you do want to make sure is the person that did use that spill kit to help with the response is trained. Some people do want to try and help out but there is the training that is needed to be able to help out on a spill.
When a response company does show up, they're going to be equipped with their own equipment to clean up the spill. One thing I would suggest is actually making sure that you do inspect your spill kits at least on a monthly basis to go around and make sure everything's in there.
A good easy way to inspect those is some people put zip ties on them. Other people laminated the inventory and put them on the bottom side of the lid so when they open that up they do a quick check to make sure everything's in there.
And then also when you do have trained staff, you train them on what the spill kits are used for. I had a walkthrough of facility where a spill kit was always being open because the personnel assigned were using these spill pads to clean up water spills instead of using paper towels. But using a spill kit is there for a reason and it's there to help stop the release or prevent it from getting to the environment.
Sasha: Okay. Brad wants to know if you've experienced a 300 gallon liquid chlorine spill and if so what did the workers do what did the respondent crew and fire fighters do?
Kevin: So, we haven't responded to a chlorine spill, specifically 300 gallon. I can't recall exactly responding to a 300 gallons. But we have responded to spills that did involve chlorine, involved chlorine liquid which also release some chlorine gas and that was from personnel not being trained to the actual container that was being used and by mixing to chemicals that released the chlorine gas and also had chlorine liquid.
In those cases it was blocking off the entire area. The fire department did respond. But part of also inviting your fire department is you got to understand the expectations of what they will do. Some fire departments are just going to show up and make sure that the building is secured and no one's going in there. And in some cases your fire department might be a fully trained HASMA response company.
But in this particular case the fire department showed up, closed off the area and then the response was done. It was the building was shut down. No one was in the building and the response to deal would be chlorine gas and the chlorine liquid was to be done early morning and it was we know no one was there and we were actually stationed upwind instead of downwind from the material. And we were in level B during the clean-up because how the setup was do not require a level A.
In that case I would not be able to speak to the fire department as to how they would respond to it but that is something why you should invite your fire department in if you have a 300 gallon chlorine tank and look, identify that as a high risk area.
Sasha: Okay. Christopher wants to know if you recommend a spill kit for each lab.
Kevin: The answer for that could be yes and no. It has to do with what's inside that lab. If you have a biology lab and they really don’t have any chemicals, then it wouldn't be ever a simple lab.
But having a chemical inventory knowing what's in each lab will help you determine if you do need a spill kit and also the type of spill kit that should be used. You don't want to just buy a generic spill kit that has solvent powder, acid powder, base powder and everything in there is completely different.
You don't have solvents in that area. You don't have bases and maybe only have acids. So looking at it, it could be lab specific and it can also be based off what you have in your own contingency plan. Will you have people clean up incidental spills? Or do you want people to just get out of the room.
In those cases where people don’t allow any type of spill cleaned up, not even incidental spills, they remove their spill kits from the labs and they have a centralized spill kit in the hallway that's only for their trained personnel.
Looking at what you have in the contingency plan or your emergency action plan will help determine if you should have them because sometimes having them could allow someone to think that they are helping you when they're not trained at that particular type of clean-up.
Sasha: Okay. Great. Thank you. We still have time for one more question so I'll ask that and then we can close up webinar. So, Alicia wants to know, “Would Triumvirate refer a hazardous situation to a local fire department, HASMA response team if it requires level A?”
Kevin: No. If it does require level A, we are called in to respond. Usually the fire department is called in as well. And in those cases the fire department will turn it over to the HASMA company that’s showing up. Sometimes the fire department will take ownership of the spill and if they are, there are some that are trained in level A to respond
We've only had minimal. In most cases, most people only had minimal level A responses but you do have training that goes along with it. But to pass it off to a fire department, it usually goes the other way where the fire department is there and they're waiting for your spill response company to show so they can pass it over the spill response company.
Sasha: Great. Thanks. We’re going to close out the webinar now to the next slide, Kevin. I just have a few closing remarks. So thanks everybody for all your questions. We will send you an email with a copy of the presentation along the recording some time tomorrow.