Traffic Incident Management in Hazardous Materials Spills in Incident Clearance

Hazardous materials spills provide unique challenges to traffic incident clearance. When hazardous materials are present, not only do response personnel have to deal with typical traffic incident issues, they also must deal with potential chemical hazards, environmental impacts and added safety requirements. The mitigation and clean-up of hazardous spills can be a major source of delay in clearing traffic incidents. In many instances, expensive, time consuming removal actions are initiated when other appropriate, quicker options could be deployed safely. This document deals with the protocol and necessary knowledge required by transportation operations personnel, and first responders, such as fire-rescue and police when dealing with hazardous materials spills on the roadway, especially vehicle fluids. It provides basic knowledge necessary for transportation first responders to enable them to make proper decisions in the identification of the material and on how such spills can be safely handled. It also highlights quick, safe clearance policies and practices of transportation (DOT) operations personnel when only vehicular fluid spills are involved.