Hazardous materials transportation risk assessments are often designed for different purposes and used in different ways by government agencies and the private sector. There are a number of models/methodologies used in each sector, from simplified to extremely complex, that have varying data needs and make varying degrees of assumptions. Different assessment tools and approaches may be applicable to only specific transportation scenarios, activities, or purposes. In addition, many of the assessments address single modes of transportation, and there are few published methods to adequately compare risk across modes or in combinations of modes. There is a need for the government sector to better understand how the private sector performs and uses risk assessments and risk management and for the private sector to appreciate government needs in regulating hazardous materials in transport.
The objectives of this project are to (a) identify existing tools, methodologies, approaches, and key sources of data for assessing hazardous materials transportation risks in the public and private sectors; (b) characterize the capabilities and limitations of each; (c) identify where there are significant gaps and needs in the available tools and approaches; and (d) recommend paths forward. Transportation risks of particular concern relate to acute releases of significant quantities of hazardous materials for all modes of transportation.
(1). Identify and describe pertinent domestic and international literature on the basis of applicability, conclusiveness of findings, and usefulness for the analytical needs of hazardous materials transportation risk assessments in the public and private sectors. Include available models, key sources of data, tools, methodologies, and approaches, as well as those under development.(2). Identify the current uses of available models, tools, methodologies, approaches, and key sources of data for hazardous materials transportation risk assessments in the public and private sectors. Users of interest should include shippers, carriers, government agencies, responders, and risk managers/insurers. Prepare a technical memorandum with the results of Task 1 and Task 2. (3). Characterize the capabilities of models, tools, methodologies, approaches, and key sources of data for hazardous materials transport risk assessments in the public and private sectors as identified in Tasks 1 and 2. Summarize and clearly present the current uses, critical assumptions, limitations, biases, and availability (including appropriate data) for the items identified in Tasks 1 and 2. This characterization should include discussions of applicable modes, types of consequences evaluated, treatment of uncertainty, and key parameters considered. It should also describe who uses the items, what decisions are supported by the items, and any decision criteria that may be included.(4). Prepare an interim report providing the information developed in Tasks 1 through 3. The interim report shall also contain a detailed, updated work plan for Phase II.
(5). Based on the approved Phase II work plan, analyze and synthesize the Phase I information. Prepare a report that (a) identifies existing tools, methodologies, approaches, and key sources of data for assessing hazardous materials transportation risks in the public and private sectors; (b) characterizes the capabilities and limitations of each; (c) identifies where there are significant gaps and needs in the available tools and approaches; and (d) recommends paths forward. (6). Prepare a final report documenting the entire research effort.