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Collect and Review Existing Data 41 4.3.4 Facility, Population, and Infrastructure Locations Fixed facilities, population centers, critical infrastructures, and future developments may be affected by, or alter patterns of, hazmat transport associated with such facilities. Special popula- tions are comprised of anyone who requires special consideration to be appropriately protected. For example, congregate care facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, day care facilities, and schools may require special arrangements to overcome populations with physical handicaps or may have reduced capacity to fully comprehend warnings. Prisons, juvenile detention centers, and other institutions of confinement may require special security arrangements. Any facility where large numbers of people congregate en mass--stadiums, arenas, fair grounds, convention centers, auditoriums, and churches--may require special arrangements to accommodate the large numbers of potential exposures. 4.3.5 Incidents and Accidents Information about incidents and accidents can help characterize hazmat transport risks in a community and identify risk hotspots (discussed further in Section 6.3.8). The number, location, and types of accidents occurring in the area can be identified by reviewing the historical record of local transportation accidents. Such an historical record is useful because carriers are often reluc- tant to change routing practices. To the extent that environmental conditions (e.g., traffic, infra- structural conditions, or weather) contribute to accidents, specific locations of prior accidents may be more likely to experience future accidents if those conditions are repeated or persist. It should be noted that incidents are not limited to those that involve hazmat. For example, if a particular road or intersection is known to have a high rate of truck incidents, and the road has hazmat traffic, it may also have a high risk for hazmat incidents, even if a hazmat incident has not historically occurred there. Hence, high accident rates for trucks along a particular route may provide good reasons to limit hazardous materials along those routes. Further information about large truck incidents and accidents is provided in Appendix I. 4.3.6 Contact Information Obtaining contact information for hazmat transportation carriers, shippers, and receivers can allow a jurisdiction to request information from these entities about their hazmat transport activ- ities. These data sources may augment contact information that is locally available or maintained by trade associations. 4.3.7 Geographic and Environmental Data The geographic and environmental characteristics of a community are another important com- ponent of risk and vulnerability analyses. Topographic features and climatic conditions affect dis- persion of hazmat releases. Topographic information and climate data are important assumptions for release modeling and response assessments. Susceptibility of natural resources to hazmat releases may vary according to the type of flora and fauna that inhabit them. This is especially critical for en- vironmentally sensitive areas that contain endangered/threatened species and delicate ecosystems. 4.4 Review Existing Data and New Data Needs The project team reviews the existing HMCFS data during and after compiling it from various sources. The process for reviewing existing data sources is very similar to the review process for the baseline information, but more extensive. The project team reviews and evaluates hazmat
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42 Guidebook for Conducting Local Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Studies transport and other HMCFS information to identify data gaps by mode of transport, routes or route segments, frequency and volume of hazardous materials, and other classifications. As with the baseline assessment, existing data may be sufficient to meet the data requirements (as driven by HMCFS objectives) and to document limited potential risks and exposures. In this case, no new data are required. If gaps remain in knowledge, or information is not current or relevant, then new data are required. Note that in many cases, collection of new data may be performed concurrently with collec- tion of existing data. This can be done because the HMCFS objectives have been defined along with associated data requirements (Promising Practices 1, 2, and 3 in Appendix D). In addition, the sampling and precision characteristics of existing data sources and their relevance to the local jurisdiction are known or easily determined (Tables 4-1 and 4-2). By comparing the data require- ments with the existing data sources, the project team should be able to develop an idea, in ad- vance, about the needs for new data and proceed with new data collection. As the existing data is collected, compiled, and reviewed, the collection of new data (previously scoped as discussed in Section 3.3) should be reviewed to ensure that gaps in existing data will be addressed, and that sufficient data collection methods and resources will be applied.