Hazardous Analysis Risk Compliance
Two grants are tied to the TCLEPC’s capacity to accomplish preparedness and outreach and education sections of EPCRA; the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Hazards Analysis grants administered by the FDEM. These grants provide critical funding allowing the TCLEPC to provide on-going region wide training, exercises, and technical assistance for first responders and supporting agencies, and local governments. The following grants programs provide funding in support of EPCRA and TCLEPC activities:
Hazards Analysis (HA)
Annual grants with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) provide technical assistance to counties in the development of hazards analysis that detail facility chemical inventories, risk and vulnerability analyses, and health risks data. The EPA CAMEO Database is used to maintain a list of facilities that use, store, and/or manufacture EHSs. The database helps to develop hazardous material emergency plans, update the regional plan, and provide training and exercises that provide responders the information needed to respond safely and recover from releases/spills.
Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant Program
The Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grant program was established in 1990 by the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act, and in 1993, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) began issuing grants to assist states in developing, improving, and carrying out emergency planning as part of the National Response System (NRS), and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA). The HMEP grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) through the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The LEPCs are tasked to assist in providing hazardous materials training for first responders and/or supporting agency personnel at low or no cost to enhance preparedness and response readiness, capabilities, and to ensure public safety related to hazardous materials releases/spill incidents. The HMEP program is funded by fees collected from hazmat shippers and carriers transporting hazardous materials intrastate, interstate, and/or in foreign commerce in accordance with Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49, Part 107, Subpart G. These fees fund monitoring, technical assistance, training curriculum development, and publication of the Emergency Response Guidebooks (ERG) updated, printed, and distributed by the US DOT every four (4) years.
The State of Florida issues the HMEP grant annually to LEPCs Statewide where it is implemented through training and planning. The Training portion of the grant includes provision of hazardous materials courses to public sector first responders in awareness, operations, and technician level training. The Planning projects include regional hazardous materials planning projects such as response team needs assessments and surveys, EHS facility summaries, commodity flow studies, and the development and conduct of exercises.
The HMEP grant program is flexible and allows LEPCs to carryout training and planning projects geared toward the specific needs of the region. TCLEPC planning projects over the last decade such as commodity flow studies, facility summaries for each county, and exercises have helped staff to determine emergency response capabilities within counties and then direct select training to those teams and agencies. Our region utilizes the HMEP list of approved hazardous materials training set forth in the most current U.S. DOT HMEP Training Guidelines, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 472: Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents, and 29 CFR § 1910.120 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Training is offered and conducted at Awareness, Operations, and Technician levels and additionally, tailors training to the region’s fire and hazmat team competency needs and offers public responders the opportunity to participate in an annual hazmat training team competition and symposium that provides over 35 unique classes and hands-on experience training at no cost to the students.