Home Podcasts THMG049 – Laws and the Haz Mat Tech, Part I

THMG049 – Laws and the Haz Mat Tech, Part I


In this two-part series, we’ll review the laws, regulations, and standards that affect us as hazmat techs.

Complete Show Notes

4:15 Why the Rules Matter to Us as Hazmat Techs

  • In order to be the best hazmat tech you can be, you need to know the rules
  • Every time we enter an incident, we act according to a specific paradigm
  • A paradigm is a model or something we follow (even if we don’t know the reason behind it) because we think it’s for the best
  • In order to recognize the paradigm and how to be a self-sufficient operator, you have to know the rules

13:25 Important Laws and Regulations for the Operator

  • 49 CFR – transportation regulations
  • 29 CFR – OSHA regulations (specifically 1910.120)
  • NFPA 471 – recommended hazmat response practices
  • NFPA 472 – standard competence for hazmat responders
  • NFPA 473
  • NFPA 1991, 1993, and 1994
  • We won’t be getting into HAXWOPPER and SARA Title 3 for now, but we may discuss them in future episodes
  • Since 1968, the laws, regulations, and standards around hazmat have continued to evolve and develop – there have been huge advances in regulation of storage, transport, handling, cleanup, training, etc.

20:25 The Clean Water Act (CWA)

  • Created in 1970 and led to federal involvement in environmental emergencies
  • Led to the creation of regulations in responding to these types of emergencies
  • Provided a matrix for setting a precedent when we respond to events like chemical spills and oil releases in U.S. waterways and oceans

22:20 The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP)

  • This built off of the CWA and established a central point for incidents and reporting
  • Made of 3 parts – national contingency plan, national response system, and national response team
  • The national response team is responsible for coordinating the federal resources that are available or requested and the local resources and AHJ

24:30 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

  • Provided as an avenue for more federal intervention if necessary during responses
  • Created in 1980 due to 2 major factors:
    • More and more chemicals were being seen in emergencies
    • Tributaries – which are waterways that lead to larger waterways – were becoming more of a presence in the hazmat world

26:10 The EPA’s Superfund Program

  • This is basically a savings account that the federal government holds in case a cleanup exceeds what the responsible party can afford to pay
  • Approximately 70% of Superfund cleanup activities have been paid for by parties responsible (PRPs) for the cleanup of contamination
  • As of 9 August 2016, there are over 1,300 sites listed – an additional 391 have been de-listed, and 55 new sites have been proposed

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