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28 Guidebook for Conducting Local Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Studies of nearby populations. Incident and accident information and Understanding your information baseline previous analysis may identify areas of particular concern. helps guide the HMCFS project. The Lewis/Up- Many jurisdictions feel that they have a good handle on hazmat shur Counties LEPC in West Virginia reviewed traffic that originates in, is destined for, or transported entirely a prior HMCFS as part of their baseline infor- within their jurisdictions, but they lack a good understanding of mation assessment. It showed that local rail hazardous material that is transported through their communities. traffic was for coal transport. The LEPC deter- Other jurisdictions, especially those that are larger and more com- mined that little had changed with rail ship- plex, may require a detailed analysis of all types of hazmat transport. ments since the previous study, so collection of new railroad data was not necessary. If risks are known to be low, knowledge is solid and well docu- mented, potential exposures limited, and there is no reason to be- lieve any of these have changed significantly over time, then the baseline level of knowledge may be sufficient. If, however, there are gaps in knowledge or information is not current or relevant, then additional HMCFS efforts may be required. In this case, baseline information assessments provide considerable insight for conducting the HMCFS and focusing it on high-priority issues or locations. 3.3 Scope the HMCFS Project The project team scopes the HMCFS project after reviewing the baseline information and identifying gaps in hazmat transport knowledge or information. An HMCFS can range from a simple, low-cost effort using existing data sources, to one that is much more complex, involving collection of new data and expenditure of a large amount of effort and resources. A review of Chapters 4, 5, and 6 is suggested before attempting to scope the HMCFS project. This will help the reader understand the kinds of information available from already existing data sources, in- formation that can be obtained from new data sources, and whether they are applicable to the HMCFS project's objectives. Local jurisdictions should check with state (e.g., SERC) or federal entities about content requirements for an HMCFS and emergency plans to ensure that all re- quired information is obtained and documented. After identifying what needs to be done, the next step is to plan for the HMCFS--identify how and when it is going to be done, and who is going to do it. Funding is a key question for the proj- ect. Appendix D.5, Stretch Limited Time and Resources, discusses options for funding an HMCFS. Appendix D.6, Consider Consecutive-Year Studies, covers how an HMCFS can be scheduled over several years to address resource limitations. This may be particularly applicable to large jurisdictions with complex transportation systems. Keep in mind that grant funding for conducing HMCFS, such as the HMEP Grants Program, may have specific requirements that must be met to utilize funding. These requirements may result in significant impacts and limi- tations on the timing of HMCFS activities and deliverables. The question of who will participate in the HMCFS project is also important. Some LEPCs have availability and interest of their membership, but minimal funds for hiring an outside con- tractor. Since LEPCs and TERCs are made up almost exclusively of volunteers, Appendix D.7, Use Volunteers to Conduct HMCFS, presents issues particularly relevant to these entities. Oth- ers have funds available for hiring a contractor, but minimal availability of their members for participating in data collection or evaluation. Regardless of whether the HMCFS is conducted entirely internally, or if an external entity such as a contractor is brought in, an HMCFS requires the oversight of a manager or coordinator who can provide a central point for direction of the project, periodically review progress on the effort, provide input about direction of the project relative to objectives, and review project results. It is likely that this function will be made up of one or more members of the HMCFS project team.
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Collect and Review Baseline Information and Scope Project 29 Participation by local entities such as LEPCs in the commodity flow study is critical to the suc- cess of the study. The roles of the LEPC and its members change only slightly with the method chosen for conducting the HMCFS. Even if the LEPC chooses to hire an outside entity to conduct the study, the LEPC still has a vital role. In this case, the role(s) of the LEPC and its members may include the following: ˇ Providing input to the contractor about the purpose and use of the study; ˇ Providing input about known historical data and special local situations that may not be readily known; ˇ Assisting the contractor in the acquisition of data. For example, in comparison to contractors, LEPCs are able to more readily access data from Tier II reports from fixed facilities and request information from transporters such as railroads; ˇ Providing input on data collection site locations to ensure collected data covers the needs of the jurisdiction; and ˇ Interpreting results of the HMCFS, disseminating information to stakeholders, and imple- menting changes to local emergency and community planning practices as a result of project objectives. An outside entity contracted to conduct an HMCFS also has defined roles. The roles of the contractor may include the following: ˇ Conducting preliminary meetings with the LEPC to ensure that the study is designed to meet the identified needs, ˇ Acquiring historical data and requesting assistance from the LEPC if necessary, ˇ Designing a study to meet the needs of the LEPC, ˇ Coordinating and conducting data collection, and analyzing data; and ˇ Documenting HMCFS results. A local entity that conducts the study internally is also responsible for data collection and analysis. This will require, at a minimum, personnel who are experienced in the use of spread- sheet software such as Microsoft ExcelŽ. Involvement of personnel with technical writing expe- rience will help ensure that the information is accurately and effectively communicated through HMCFS documents. Although not critical to the HMCFS, experience with Geographic Informa- tion Systems (GIS) will be very beneficial because GIS allows for hazmat transport information to be communicated using maps, in addition to lists, charts, and tables.