Federal agencies Rail Transportation

PHMSA seeks feedback ahead of Emergency Response Guidebook revision

hazmat team
Photo: BenDC/iStockphoto

Washington — The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is seeking input on potential improvements to its Emergency Response Guidebook as the agency prepares a revised edition for release in 2020, according to a notice published in the May 23 Federal Register.

The resource “provides first responders with a go-to manual to help deal with hazmat transportation accidents during the critical first 30 minutes,” PHMSA states.

PHMSA will accept suggestions on all topics related to the guide, but the notice provides stakeholders with 10 specific questions for consideration:

  • How can PHMSA make the ERG more user-friendly for first responders during the initial response phase of a hazardous materials transportation incident?
  • Does ERG2016 effectively emphasize the most useful information for the initial response phase?
  • Have you encountered conflicting or ambiguous guidance messages when using the ERG and other sources of technical information?
  • Are there ways that the agency can improve the White Pages?
  • In ERG2016’s Yellow or Blue Pages, have you found any identification number and/or material name that seems to be assigned to an incorrect guide number?
  • Do the Orange Guide Pages contain recommendations and responses that are appropriate to the material they are assigned?
  • How could PHMSA change/improve the introduction and description of the Green Pages, or tables 1, 2 and/or 3?
  • When calling any of the emergency response telephone numbers listed in ERG2016, have you experienced a busy telephone line, disconnection or no response?
  • Which formats of the ERG do you use and why?
  • How often do you use the ERG in a dangerous goods transportation emergency?

Feedback can be emailed to [email protected].

PHMSA has distributed more than 14.5 million free ERG copies to emergency service agencies to date and offers online access.

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