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Air Indoor Resources - Hazardous Waste Management

Emergencies, Training, and Recordkeeping

A contingency plan organizes, plans, and coordinates a set course of actions to be followed in the event of fire, explosion, or unplanned release of hazardous waste believed to threaten human health or the environment. The contingency plan defines who the responders are (internal and external); provides for personnel evacuation and identification of spilled or released chemical(s); considers pathways for chemicals to reach air, soils, and surface water; and describes the remedial equipment to be used.

The main things to remember when handling an emergency situation are to:

  • STOP
  • CALL
  • RECOVER and

Although CEQQGs and SQGs are not required to prepare a written contingency plan, SGQs that accumulate hazardous waste on-site must comply with specific preparedness and prevention procedures to comply with personnel training requirements and emergency response procedures under 40 CFR 262.34(d). Moreover, SQGs are required to maintain access to:

  • Internal and external communication systems, such as alarms, telephones, and two-way radios, in order to summons help;
  • Fire extinguishers, other fire fighting equipment, and spill kits, which are inspected and tested regularly;
  • Aisle space for unobstructed movement of personnel, fire equipment, and spill control measures;
  • Disclosure to local authorities regarding types of waste handled at the facility;
  • Emergency Coordinator (primary and secondary, if necessary), on the premises or on-call at all times; and
  • Name and telephone number of Emergency Coordinator(s).

Incidents that threaten the life of the community outside of the facility or that involve chemicals released into surface waters require a disclosure to the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 or the Florida Warning Point at 1-800-320-0519. The Department of Transportation, Emergency Response Guidebook (PDF) is used for first responders during the initial phase of an incident. It is also used as a reference to identify “Hazard Class or Division Number” and the specific authority for codes (United Nation or North American -- UN/NA).

With regard to training, the SQG must ensure that all employees are thoroughly familiar with proper waste handling and emergency procedures relevant to their responsibilities during normal facility operations and emergencies. Spill kits and absorbent material should be kept in strategic locations with a copy of the facility’s spill plan including all emergency telephone numbers of responders (primary and secondary responders) who have knowledge of the facility.

In the event of a fire, call the fire department or 911 for assistance and attempt to extinguish the fire only if you are not in personal danger. Remember to point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire. Upon discovery of a release or spill, if possible, immediately stop the source of the release, contain the free-flowing liquid, clean up the release, and place contaminated material or soil in separate, labeled containers.

Any facility that manages an aboveground storage tank containing more than 660 gallons is required to maintain a Spill Prevention Control Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. Recordkeeping practices require the maintenance of copies of all records on-site including: test results, disclosure forms, licenses, permits, annual report logs, manifests, and training records for a minimum of three years. Records should be maintained in a central location.

Contact Information

Wendy Murphy
325 West Gaines Street
Suite, 1054
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 245-9295