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CHAPTER 8 Conclusions and Recommendations There is no clear-cut way of describing what an HMCFS project requires based solely on commu- nity size, economic base, or transportation network characteristics. The requirements of an HMCFS can be highly variable depending on local needs and conditions. The complexity of conducting an HMCFS project generally increases as Size of community increases, resulting in more diverse goods consumption; Proximity to major hazmat producers, processors, and consumers increases; Complexity of the local and regional economy increases, resulting in greater seasonal variations in hazmat transport for different economic sectors; Levels of sampling and precision required to support HMCFS objectives increase; Need for locally relevant, specific hazmat transport data increases; Number of different modes included in the HMCFS increases; Number of major roadway transport corridors included in the HMCFS increases; or Availability of locally relevant existing data decreases, increasing the requirement for collection of new data. The following two general HMCFS practices can be recommended for all entities who conduct a local HMCFS: 1. Follow the HMCFS process. The HMCFS process identified in this guidebook is based on the previous U.S.DOT Guidance (1), supported by previous practice and literature, and is vali- dated in real-world experience. 2. Use the Promising Practices. The Promising Practices presented in Appendix D are based on feedback from LEPCs and direct experience with conducting HMCFS about what works and does not work for an HMCFS project. Many of these practices are keys to the successful plan- ning, conducting, evaluation, and implementation of an HMCFS project. A number of recommendations-based common threads found in the case studies presented in Appendix C and other research conducted for this guidebook include the following: Funding and staffing the HMCFS project Utilize available funding resources for conducting the study, such as HMEP or EPA grants. Be sure to understand grant requirements, including tracking and reporting of volunteer effort. Consider multi-jurisdictional efforts to help distribute the workload and increase the rele- vance of project outcomes to multiple communities. Consider the use of contractors for data analysis and reporting. If contractors are used, involve the LEPC in major aspects of the project. Utilize volunteer participation from community stakeholders, including emergency response, industry, and health professions; military personnel; business groups; and volunteer groups such as community emergency response teams or citizen corps councils. Often, volunteers 75

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76 Guidebook for Conducting Local Hazardous Materials Commodity Flow Studies who participate in collecting HMCFS data will identify linkages of hazmat transport with their professions of which they were not previously aware. Maximize volunteer participation through training, scheduling, and providing data count supplies, facilities, or equipment. Planning the HMCFS project Identify desired outcomes of the study in advance (e.g., confirming types of hazmat trans- ported, evaluating hazmat transport in specific risk areas, etc.). Be realistic--an HMCFS requires time and planning, which makes conducting one in short timeframes less likely to be successful. Coordinating the project, especially volunteer data collection, requires advance planning and may involve delays due to weather, conflicting schedules, etc. Using existing data sources Use existing local, state, and national information sources as much as possible. Although CFS from jurisdictions that do not share common corridors may provide examples of how to conduct a study, those project results may have little relevance to hazmat transport in your community. Collecting data Begin data collection as early in the project as possible, and do it often, especially when vol- unteer effort is being used as in-kind grant matching funds. LEPCs that wait too long to begin data collection can easily find themselves "behind the 8 ball" for completing the proj- ect within given time limits or having a good set of reliable data. Use multi-person teams for data collection on busy traffic corridors. Volunteer personnel time availability and attention for data collection may be limited. Collect data at locations where traffic is either slowed or stopped, such as truck stops, rest areas, license and weigh facilities, or signaled intersections. Use the data collection effort as an opportunity to enhance emergency response training, such as responders' familiarity with the ERG. Validating data Validate results across different data sources, including regional/state traffic data, incident reports, and prior CFS conducted for the jurisdiction or surrounding areas. Consider CFS information in terms of how reliable the data are and how they were collected (sampling and precision). Recognize limitations of the CFS. Be aware that information is typically a snapshot of hazmat transportation for specific times and locations. Transport patterns may vary widely by time of day, day of week, and season of year. Presenting HMCFS results Present project results using various formats, including tables, charts, graphs, and maps. Cross-referencing of hazmat transport information with spatial and temporal data of sen- sitive areas can be used to identify risk hotspots. Implementing the HMCFS Distribute the CFS to appropriate community stakeholders. Use it. CFS information does little good if it just "sits on the shelf." CFS information may be applicable to a wide range of applications. Consider potential applications for CFS informa- tion in addition to the project's original goals and groups other than emergency management and response agencies. Conduct an after-action analysis to identify lessons learned and potential modifications to future efforts. Plan for follow-on efforts to evaluate hazmat transportation in the community. Jurisdic- tions were able to identify changes in hazmat transportation patterns by referencing pre- vious studies. Do not wait too long to conduct subsequent studies.