What do I need to do to respond to a crash that requires assistance with dangerous goods?

(WTAJ) — After two crashes on a major Central Pennsylvania highway in the past two weeks, resulting in temporary closures and cleaning of hazardous chemicals, WTAJ has provided hazardous materials assistance to local emergency management teams. I wanted to ask about the response to a crash that requires

Only three so far will affect major roads in 2023. Interstate 99 collides Monday between Pinecroft and Bellwood exits and the On Monday, June 5, National Route 22 collided between the exit of Dishon Mountain Road and the county highway. Officials say crashes involving hazardous materials are more common than some might think.

Clearfield County Public Safety Commissioner Scott Minnott said an emergency that requires a hazardous materials estimate occurs about once a week, but most do not require a diversion or evacuation. He said it’s usually a tractor-trailer collision or rollover on Interstate 80.

When the fire brigade arrives at the scene, he said, they will check the trucks for signs that they are carrying dangerous chemicals. It is then up to the Fire Chief to call the Hazardous Materials Team and ask them to close the highway if necessary.

Bedford County Emergency Management Director Alex Delia said the traffic diversion was not a risk to air quality for drivers, but for the safety of the hazmat team.

“You are trying to accommodate the public as much as possible,” Delia said. “For example, last weekend there was a spill on Route 220, where we put in place traffic controls to ensure the safety of first responders above all else, given that a truck was blocking the road. But even after the truck was removed from the road, there was still water left.” “

And just because the road is open doesn’t mean the crew’s job is done.

“What happened, the extent of the spill, the number of vehicles and the extent of vehicle destruction will determine how long it will take to clear the wreckage from the area,” Mignot said.

Minho said the crew could spend as little as hours and as many years cleaning up. He said the accident that caused the fuel leak into the swamp took more than a year to meet Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulatory standards.

“If there is trash on the road, it can be easily cleaned up with sand and a small machine. We have to dig it up and get the DEP out,” Migno said. “They have a way of detecting how far material is being dug during drilling, and all that material has to be disposed of, and then backfill material has to be brought in and backfilled. .”

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This does not take into account the time it takes for some hazmat workers to get there. Both Clearfield and Bedford have contracts with out-of-county-based teams, but Delia said it can take up to an hour and a half for team staff to arrive on the scene. What do I need to do to respond to a crash that requires assistance with dangerous goods?

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