Highway Hazmat Spills

Highway Hazmat Spills

Executive Summary

The following proposal discusses the management of Hazmat spillage on the Texas Highway. The occurrence of a Hazmat spillage on the Texas highway spill is a hazard for some reasons. The proposal highlights and critically evaluates a list of risks as a result of the spill as well as outlines a well-researched procedure that will facilitate cleaning up of the Hazmat spill in an effective manner. It is critical to note that due to the hazard the spill possesses to the public, the Texas highway may have to close the Highway to limit the exposure of the Spillage to the general public depending on the nature of the hazardous material. Furthermore, temporarily closing the highway may create a variety of transportation issues hence the need to develop a Hazmat spillage management system that will manage the risk promptly.

The Texas highway is public property. Thus, individuals cannot only go and clean the spill, and various local authorities need to be included. Also, there are numerous risks involved in cleaning the spillage to both the companies and the employees hence the need to develop a procedure that limits exposure to risk.

Cleaning the Texas Highway Hazmat spill will bring normalcy back to the Texas community by eliminating current inconveniences, loss of revenue and reduce heavy traffic among others. Therefore, in the following document, I propose that the local authorities hire the services of hazmat cleaning vendors who will be tasked with managing the clean-up process at a competitive rate. There are numerous Hazmat cleaning vendors in the state of Texas, and through critical evaluation, a specialized cleaning vendor can be acquired.

Introduction

Texas Highway Transportation urgently needs to address the Texas Highway Hazmat spill most safely and effectively. Texas Highway transportation is tasked with managing the Highway including infrastructure, traffic and a variety of risks.Since Hazardous materials are an essential part of the economy of the United States, it is vital that the communities are well prepared to deal with the issue in an effective and same manner. Various sectors that generate hazardous materials include manufacturing, agriculture, construction, medical and mining among others. Despite Hazardous material being dangerous to humans, the hazardous substance is beneficial to the community as it is used to manufacture fuel used in vehicles and heating, cooling homes as well as fighting bacteria and viruses.

Due to the nuclear, chemical and physical materials pose significant risks to the environment and public safety during transportation. In the United States, millions of tons are transported daily thus the threat it is apparent. Despite the majority of the hazardous materials moving from one destination to the other safely, some incidents occur. The majority of the episodes include accidental releases while some are more serious than others where there is a serious threat to property and life. The following proposal outlines the most effective approach to dealing with a Hazmat spillage of various kinds on the Texas Highway.

 

Background

In 1980 the Safety and Hazmat Spill co. was established. The organization’s headquarters are located in Austin, Texas and comprise of a team of engineers, administrators, financial experts, maintenance workers, sign makers and architects among others. The employees work as a team to meet organizational goals and objectives. Despite having an extensive workforce the organization collaborates with various organizations to deliver a reliable, safe and integrated transport system that facilitates the movement of goods and persons in, out and around the state of Texas.

Since its establishment the Safety and Hazmat Spill Co. Has encountered numerous challenges including oil spills, floods, and infrastructural hazards. To address the many difficulties the organization has applied a variety of strategies. On the other hand, Texas Highway Transportation has not encountered a Hazmat spillage; they have not developed a management strategy to address its occurrence. According to an article by Democrat and Chronical in the last four decades, the risk of hazardous material transport on the highway has dramatically surpassed the danger on railway roads as the dangerous multiple material spillage events have caused massive loss of life. Secondly, routing of Hazmat Shipments in the state of Texas has poorly regulated hence the trucks ferrying hazmat use the same highway used by the city residents and visitors. Thus it is apparent that sooner or later a Hazmat Spillage on the Texas highway will occur. In its current state, the Texas Highway Transport would encounter numerous challenges as well as increase the risk of harm to the public and its employees as it lacks a Hazmat spillage management system.

 

 

Recommendation

When dealing with a Hazmat spillage, it is critical to determine the risk to develop an effective management plan that will limit the risk of exposure. The according to the U.S hazardous material regulatory system, hazardous material is identified with the aim of facilitating effective management systems. Currently, there are nine types of dangerous materials, and the first step of managing a hazardous material spill is to classify the wastes in one of the nine classes. It is critical to note that the divisions are based on physical and chemical properties. Also, the nine hazardous material classes are further subdivided as some of the materials may be combustible or may contain classified materials. The categories include; Explosives, Gases, Flammable liquids, Flammable solids, Corrosives, Oxidizers, and organic peroxides, Poisons, and etiologic materials, Radioactive materials, Miscellaneous and Other regulated materials.

Once the nature of the Hazardous material is identified, then the organization needs to seek professional assistance from firms that have experience in dealing with similar issues. In the state of Texas there are three main Hazmat clean up vendors who have the specialized equipment to address the spillage safely and effectively they include;

  1. International Hazmat
  2. Southwest Hazmat removers
  • Hazmat Risk management Co.

Each of the above Hazmat cleaning vendors has different limitations, hence to identify the most active vendor to assist in the cleanup. Texas Highway Transportation must determine the nature and magnitude of the risk.

Once a Hazmat Spillage has occurred the Texas Highway Transportation company needs to initiate the Hazard spills incident response procedure covering the following areas; North and South I-610, East and West I-10, East and West Beltway 8, East and West I-45, North and South FM 290 right of way. The procedure is as follows;

  1. Upon notifications, vendor or subcontractor shall mobilize and begin actions within the timeframes determined.

1a. Problem is Lag in response time

  1. The initial notification will be oral, followed with written notification.

2a. Problem is the breakdown in communication

  1. The vendor shall mobilize and be on science with all necessary equipment and personnel and begin action within 1-1/2 hours after notification by the coordinator.

3a. Problem is Lag in response time and coordination

  1. Removal of spills caused by three parties cannot be started immediately; Responsible party is to be notified before the cleanup operation can begin.

4a. Problem with the risk exposure of employees and other emergency responders.

  1. Incident rotation is used to activate hazmat clean-up when a spill occurs.

5a. Problem with Political infighting, rotation issues, and cleans up delays

Proposed Operations:  Risk Environment Hazmat Spill Company

  1. Change from Incident Rotation to Zone Rotation on our highways for Hazmat vendors.
  2. Notification of hazardous spill would come to the Hazmat coordinator, which would, in turn, contact the on-duty vendor.
  3. Zone highways into five areas. Each vendor will be responsible for the spill that occurs within their scheduled zones. The zone areas will be rotated bi-weekly between vendors.
  4. Either vendor that accountable for their specific zone would have a response time of 90 minutes
  5. Hazmat clean-up will begin immediately which would reduce Exposure, open up highway quicker, and eliminate political infighting, etc. Resolves all the above.

Benefits

Developing and implementing a Hazmat spillage management system for the Texas Highway transportation company provides a wide variety of benefits for stakeholders including the company, employees, partners, response systems and the general public. Some of the benefits are universal and are achieved by all stakeholders while some of the benefits target a specific group of people.

Texas Highway TransportationCompany will be the organization that will benefit the most from the development and implementation of the Hazmat Spillage management system. In case of a Hazmat spillage on the Texas highway, the company is required to manage the risk effectively in limited time ensuring that the risk of exposure and harm to the general public is limited. Also, the company must provide that transportation services are uninterrupted as it would create additional challenges. In a scenario whereby the organization fails to address the Hazmat spillage in time and loss of life occurs, then the organization is at risk of being sued by the general public for negligence and failure of life. The cost of paying out settlements or fines as a result of negligence would be high. Furthermore, the organization may lose its reputation by neglect, which may lead to negativity and hostility by the general public.

Secondly, through the implementation of a Hazmat spillage management system Texas Highway Transportationthe company can reduce the exposure from the hazardous wastes on various levels. The Hazmat spillage management system as integrated multiple agencies including the police department, first responders and the cleaning vendors. Once a Hazmat spillage has occurred the different response teams will be notified, as they assess the severity of the incident the police department will work in collaboration with the Texas Highway Transportation company to evacuate and re-direct traffic to various alternative routes enabling the cleaning vendors to clean the spillage without any interference. The early evacuation and re-direction of traffic also reduce the level of exposure as the affected area is quarantined until the risk has been eliminated.

Thirdly, the implementation of a Hazmat Spillage management system reduces the cost of cleaning the Hazmat Spillage. The Hazmat spillage management system recommends that the company enlists the services of cleaning vendors. In a scenario where the Texas Highway Transportation company would have to manage the spillage on their own the cost would be higher. The company would have to recruit a new team of specialized cleaners to oversee the clean-up. Also, the company would have to invest a considerable amount of money to buy specialized cleaning equipment to handle the clean-up. It is critical to note that each type of Hazmat Spillage requires a variety of equipment. Once the Transportation company has invested in a cleaning department, then they would have to incur the cost of managing the team regardless of whether a spillage occurs or not. Therefore the costly equipment would not be in use indefinitely as a Hazmat spillage may happen less than two times a year.

The local community will also benefit from the implementation of the Hazmat Spillage management system as the system will ensure that there is minimal exposure to harmful materials as well as limit transport disruptions. If a Hazmat spillage would occur at present where there is no strategy to manage the incident effectively, there is a higher risk of loss of life, property and transport disruptions as it would be time for the organization to coordinate a containment and clean-up operation. The time it would take to enlist various stakeholders and conduct a final operation would result in extended exposure time.

In addition to the Hazmat Spillage harming humans, they can damage the environment including the vegetation, water, and air. The Toxins from the Hazmat spillage may contaminate the water if not addressed swiftly. The contaminated water may reduce the oxygen levels in the water thus posing a risk to marine life including corals and fish. Also, the Hazmat spillage may a result in the release of harmful fumes which may lead to air pollution. The polluted air may affect those in the environs thus causing numerous airborne diseases. On the other hand, the vegetation may also be destroyed by hazardous materials.

To note, the most common types of vehicles that transport Hazardous material are large trucks as they can carry tons of Hazmat. An accident involving this form of trucks can cause massive damage to property if not addressed swiftly. For instance, in a scenario whereby a 2-ton truck overturns, it can damage cars on the highway, trees as well as the Highway infrastructure. The damage could be caused by both the weight of the truck as well as the contents of the car. A truck carrying corrosive hazardous material has the potential of destroying the cars, roads and well as the rails on the highway. The most effective approach to limit the severity of the corrosion is to clean up the corrosive material swiftly thus reducing the time of exposure.

Conclusion

It is apparent that the TexasHighwayTransportation company’s failure to develop and implement a Hazmat Spillage management system is a risk. It is also evident that the chance of encountering a Hazmat spillage in the future is inevitable and therefore the need for the Texas Highway to develop and implement a Hazmat Spillage management system. The Texas Highway transportation is tasked with managing the highway, which includes addressing a variety of risks that would result in the disruption of traffic or cause any harm to its users. Therefore in the case of a Hazmat spillage on the Highway, the burden would fall on the Texas Highway Transportation. The organization is tasked with limiting exposure, limiting and eliminating traffic disruptions among others. In its current state, the company does not have an existing Hazmat spillage management system that would be applied in the case of a Hazmat Spillage hence increasing the risk of harm by over 75 percent. In the case of a Hazmat spillage, the Texas Highway transportation company would incur massive losses as they lack a strategy to manage the risks associated with a spillage effectively. 

It is critical to note that time is of no luxury in the case of Hazmat spillage as the longer it takes to clean up the hazardous material the longer the exposure time. One of the main aims of cleaning up a Hazmat spillage swiftly is to ensure that there is limited exposure to the material, hence save lives and limit illnesses.

Also, the development and implementation of a Hazmat Spillage management system integrate various stakeholders and local authorities limiting, eliminating and managing the risks associated with a Hazmat spillage. The involvement of local agencies is highly effective in saving lives as well as streamlining the clean-upprocess. Furthermore, the Hazmat spillage management system outlines various steps to be applied when responding to a Hazmat Spillage.

Texas highway transportation would make massive savings in the case of a Hazmat Spillage as the company would delegate some of the activities to outsourced professionals. Thus, the company would eliminate the cost of operating a Hazmat Cleaning department, cost of cleaning equipment and maintaining Hazmat cleaning personnel among others. The company would be able to reap all the benefits of developing and implementing a Hazmat Spillage management system at a lower cost thus value for money. As previously stated, an organization must develop a cost-effective plan for Hazmat Spillage as the probability of a Hazmat spillage occurring is limited. Therefore managing a department specifically established to address Hazmat spillage is not recommended especially in the case of the Texas Highway transportation as they may not get any return on their investment. Furthermore, it may lead to massive losses for the organization as they would have to incur the cost of managing a department and maintain equipment that does not generate revenue for the organization.

All in all the development and implementation of a Hazmat spillage management system benefits various stakeholders including the local authorities, businesses, residents, and visitors to the state of Texas. The Hazmat spillage management system is a testament to the dedication of the Texas Highway transportation company towards achieving its goals of quality and safety in the transport sector.

 

 

References

Reilly, Steve (2014).Dangerous Spills on Highways retrieved at https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/05/11/dangerous-spills-highways/8867415/

U.S Department of transportation (n.d).Traffic Incident Management in Hazardous Materials Spills in Incident Clearanceretrieved at https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop08058/20.htm.

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