The National Academies

HMCRP HM-11 [Final]

Improving Local Community Recovery from Disastrous Hazardous Materials Transportation Incidents

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Research Agency: ABSG
Principal Investigator: Richard Ranous
Effective Date: 12/2/2010
Completion Date: 6/29/2012
Comments: Published as HMCRP Report 9.

Federal health, safety, and environmental regulations address emergency response planning and preparations in the event of a hazardous materials release. However, little effort has been made to document actions and plans that address recovery from disastrous hazardous materials transportation incidents, namely, incidents that result in human casualties, extensive property or environmental damage, or severe social or economic disruption. Recent examples of such disasters include the New Orleans, LA, barge spill in 2008, the derailment of chlorine tank cars in Graniteville, SC, in 2005, and the Baltimore, MD, tunnel fire in 2001.
The objective of this research is to develop a compendium of best practices that can be used by local communities to plan for recovery from disastrous hazardous materials transportation incidents. Recovery is defined as both short- and long-term efforts to re-build and revitalize affected communities. Recovery planning must provide for a near-seamless transition from emergency response activities to recovery operations to de-briefing lessons learned, including, but not limited to, restoration of interrupted utility services, reestablishment of transportation routes, the provision of food and shelter to displaced persons, environmental restoration, business continuity, and economic rebuilding.
(1). Analyze, describe, and critique pertinent domestic and international examples (including review of after-action reports, lessons learned or observed, and best practices) from current practice, research findings, and other resources on disaster recovery. (2). With the first quarterly report, submit a list of 40 recommended participants for the Task 9 peer exchange. (3). Identify procurement procedures, legal and environmental compliance requirements, materials, labor, equipment, and expertise necessary to enable recovery. (4). On the basis of applicability and usefulness, identify best practices that can enhance local community planning for and recovery from disastrous hazardous materials transportation incidents. (5). Identify institutional barriers to adopting the best practices (e.g., legal, cost, privacy, regulatory) and feasible solutions for overcoming them.(6). Develop a detailed compendium of best practices that can be used by local communities to recover from hazardous materials transportation incidents. (7). Perform a gap analysis to compare recovery planning needs with current state of the practice and propose initiatives to address the gaps.(8). Eight months after contract award, submit an interim report that documents Tasks 1 through 7, the draft compendium of best recovery practices, and an agenda for the peer exchange in Task 9, for review by HMCRP. (9). Upon HMCRP approval, conduct a 1-day peer exchange for 50 people (including invited participants, panel members, and TRB staff) to evaluate the draft compendium. It is anticipated that the peer exchange will be held at the National Academies Beckman Center in Irvine, California, in November, 2011. HMCRP will be responsible for all meeting and hotel logistics for the peer exchange, travel expenses for participants, confirmation of attendance, and expenses related to meals and rooms. The contractor will be responsible for all other peer exchange costs, such as invitations to participants, final agenda, preparation of electronic presentations, and handout materials. (10). Conduct follow-up interviews as needed to augment the information gathered during the peer exchange. (11). Refine the list of recommended initiatives to address the unmet needs for effective recovery identified in the gap analysis and the peer exchange.(12). Prepare a final report documenting the entire research effort and the compendium of best practices that can be used by local communities to plan for recovery from disastrous hazardous materials transportation incidents. 
STATUS: Published as HMCRP Report 9.

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