Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response

242 FW 6
FWM Number
242 FW 6, FWM 171, 02/22/95
Originating Office
Safety Operations

6.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) requirements to eliminate or minimize the safety and occupational health risks associated with exposure to chemical, physical, and biological hazards that employees may encounter while performing their work.

6.2 What is the Service policy on hazardous waste operations? Our policy is to prevent the onset of adverse health effects or injury by:

A. Establishing and implementing procedures and controls that will prevent or minimize exposures to various chemical, physical, or biological hazards; and

B. Ensuring personnel are properly trained to work and comply with Federal and State laws and other policies on storing, handling, and using hazardous materials and disposing of hazardous waste.

6.3 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter:

A. Applies to Service employees, volunteers, seasonal workers, and students whose work involves:

(1) Reconnaissance at potentially contaminated areas before the presence or absence of hazardous materials or wastes has been determined;

(2) Contaminant-related activities, such as surveys, monitoring studies, sample collection, and special investigations to determine the concentrations or effects of those materials;

(3) Contaminant-related investigations, such as law enforcement investigations on incidents impacting our trust resources (e.g., incidents involving oil pits and spills, releases of hazardous substances, pesticide misuse, dumping, etc.);

(4) Cleanup operations at sites that could potentially expose employees to a safety or health hazard, including uncontrolled hazardous waste sites (e.g., removing, containing, incinerating, neutralizing, and stabilizing contaminants); and

(5) Training and emergency response to incidents at sites with oil spills or hazardous substance releases.

B. Applies to employees who have been, or may have been, previously exposed to unexpected or emergency releases of hazardous materials above allowable exposure limits or employees who exhibit signs, symptoms, or illness that may have resulted from exposure to hazardous materials. Allowable exposure limits are the caps on exposure to chemical, physical, and biological hazards that are established by law or through recognized standard-setting bodies (e.g., American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists); and

C. Does not apply to pesticide applications (242 FW 7), laboratories (242 FW 8), and explosives (244 FW 1), all of which are covered by applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, as well as the noted Service policies.

6.4 What are the authorities for this chapter?

A. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Federal Agency Safety Program and Responsibilities (Public Law 91-596).

B. OSHA Standards:

(1) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (29 CFR 1910.120).

(2) Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134).

(3) Personal Protective Equipment (29 CFR 1910 Subpart I, Sections 132-138).

(4) Confined Spaces (29 CFR 1910.146).

C. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701-2764).

D. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. 9601).

E. National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (40 CFR 300).

F. Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters (29 CFR 1960).

G. Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees.

H. 485 DM 17, Occupational Health (Industrial Hygiene) Program.

I. Department of the Interior Occupational Medicine Program Handbook.

6.5 Who is responsible for hazardous waste operations and emergency response safety? Table 6-1 describes the responsibilities employees have for working with hazardous materials.

Table 6-1: Responsibilities for the Service’s hazardous waste operations and emergency response safety

This official…

Is responsible for…

A. The Director

Ensuring that we maintain an effective and comprehensive occupational safety and health program.

B. The Assistant Director – Business Management and Operations


(1) We have a policy on hazardous waste operations and emergency response safety,

(2) That Headquarters (HQ) has sufficient support and resources to implement the policy, and

(3) That employees will NOT perform work at sites that have not been characterized.

C. The Chief, Division of Safety and Health

(1) Revising and updating this chapter, as necessary,

(2) Interpreting the requirements in this chapter and serving as a consultant to resolve Servicewide questions or issues,

(3) Providing guidance and assistance to Regional Safety and Health Offices when requested, and

(4) Reviewing and approving requests (before the supervising Directorate member) for HQ employees entering into oil spill or hazardous material sites where releases have occurred of chemical substances or hazardous waste that require the use of Level B or Level C personal protective equipment (PPE) (see section 6.7).

D. Directorate members

(1)  Providing sufficient resources and support to effectively implement hazardous waste operations and emergency response safety within their respective Regions/programs, and

(2) Reviewing and approving requests for employee entry into oil spill or hazardous material sites where releases have occurred of chemical substances or hazardous waste that require the use of Level B or Level C PPE. They:

     (a) May delegate this authority to an appropriate designee, and

     (b) Determine whether or not to allow entry in consultation with the Program Area Supervisor, the Spill Coordinator, and their Regional Safety Manager.

E. The Chief, Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) and Regional Special Agents in Charge (OLE)

Ensuring that OLE personnel:

(1) Who must respond to oil spills or releases of chemical substances or enter into hazardous material/waste sites follow the requirements in this chapter and 446 FW 3, and

(2) Are covered by a site-specific work plan that has been reviewed and approved by the Regional Environmental Compliance Coordinator or the Regional Safety Manager before they enter sites with unknown hazard levels, in accordance with section 6.9.

F. Regional Safety Managers

(1) Interpreting hazardous waste operations safety requirements and serving

as advisors to resolve Regionwide questions or issues;

(2) As requested, consulting with Project Leaders, Regional Environmental Contaminant Coordinators, Regional Environmental Compliance Coordinators, and Engineering office staff on issues relating to this chapter;

(3) As requested, reviewing Job Hazard Assessments (JHA) for operations involving contaminant-related work;

(4) Assisting their Regional Directors in reviewing requests for entry into oil spills and/or hazardous material sites where there have been releases of chemical substances or hazardous waste requiring the use of Level B or Level C PPE; and

(5) Evaluating the implementation of this chapter during Regional field station safety and occupational health inspections.

G. Regional Engineers/

Environmental Compliance Coordinators

(1) Coordinating the technical aspects of site investigations (Service and non-Service facilities), site characterizations, and cleanups with the Regional Safety and Health Offices, Regional Directors, and other appropriate personnel; and

(2) Ensuring that when we hire contractors for site remediation, the contractors perform site characterization before any Service employees can enter the areas.

H. Regional Environmental Contaminants Coordinators

(1) Ensuring that employees serving in oil spill/hazardous material response positions (e.g., Contaminant Specialist) have the appropriate safety training, PPE, equipment, supplies, and logistical support to fulfill their role as a responder;

(2)  Ensuring the Region has a viable written and implementable spill response program for spill threats requiring mobilization of Service assets to protect trust resources on and off Service lands;

(3) Coordinating with other Service programs (e.g., Refuges and Engineering) to ensure internal mechanisms are in place to address spills that are not just incidental in type or size; and

(4) Ensuring Regional capacity to meet obligations related to the Service’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan and its subsequent obligations under the Oil Pollution Act, National Contingency Plan, and National Response Framework (ESF-10).

I. Project Leaders/Supervisors

(1) Ensuring that employees are fully trained and aware of the procedures related to hazardous material/waste operations, including those for disposing of hazardous waste, performing environmental testing, handling unknown substances, reporting requirements for spills, and handling accidents involving hazardous materials/substances/wastes (see 560 FW 3, Reporting Releases of Hazardous Substances, Oil Discharges, and Contaminated Sites);

(2) Developing and using certified JHAs or site safety plans, which include identifying associated hazards and required PPE, for all tasks (see 240 FW 1, Safety Program Management);

(3) Ensuring employees have the appropriate PPE based on a certified JHA for the work activities and hazardous materials involved and are trained on its selection, use, and maintenance;

(4) Ensuring their employees receive appropriate medical monitoring. This may include consultation with the Regional Safety Manager, Regional Environmental Contaminants Coordinator, Division of Safety and Health, or with an Occupational Health Physician to determine appropriate examinations, screening tests, and frequency of medical surveillance that will adequately protect employees. See section 6.9E and 242 FW 4, Medical Programs for more information;

(5) Ensuring employee medical and exposure records are maintained properly and in accordance with the Privacy Act;

(6) Consulting with their Regional Safety Manager or Regional Environmental Contaminants Coordinator to ensure that the appropriate personnel are monitoring the hazardous material sites;

(7) Reviewing and approving requests for employee access to hazard Level B and C sites and sending the requests to the Regional Director or designated authority for consideration; and

(8) Entering information showing when employees, volunteers, and youth/collegiate program participants complete safety and health training, including refresher training, into the Department’s Learning Management System (i.e., DOI Learn). If the system will not allow them to enter the training, the Project Leader/supervisor must maintain and track safety and health training by documentable and producible means.

J. Employees

(1) Wearing PPE that is appropriate for the hazard as indicated in the JHA or site-specific health and safety work plan,

(2) Maintaining PPE in a good serviceable condition (see 241 FW 3),

(3) As work warrants, requesting permission to access Level B and Level C areas,

(4) Notifying their supervisor if physical or medical conditions preclude their assignment to hazardous waste operations and emergency response,

(5) Taking appropriate precautions against exposure to unexpected or emergency releases of hazardous materials,

(6) Taking what corrective actions they can and reporting to their supervisors on hazardous conditions that they correct and those requiring correction,

(7) Completing all required training as outlined in Table 6-4, and

(8) Completing all requirements for medical monitoring. See section 6.9E, and 242 FW 4, Medical Programs, for more information.

6.6 What terms do you need to know to understand this chapter?

A. Emergency Response is an action that employees or other designated responders (e.g., mutual-aid groups or local fire departments) take because of an occurrence that causes, or is likely to cause, an oil spill or uncontrolled release of hazardous substances.

(1) We do not consider response to incidental releases of known hazardous substances where the substance can be safely absorbed, neutralized, or otherwise controlled at the time of release to be emergency responses. During such a release, the responding individuals are subject to the hazard communication requirements in 242 FW 2, Hazard Communication, as well as applicable OSHA requirements (29 CFR 1910.1200) and those in 241 FW 3, PPE. 

(2) Project Leaders and employees should review individual facility Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure plans for actions to take when a spill or incidental release occurs on Service lands.

B. Hazardous Material includes the following:

(1) Any item or agent (biological, chemical, physical) that has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors; or

(2) Has been determined by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported. The term includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, and materials transported at elevated temperatures.

We must handle unknown substances as hazardous material until we can determine if the product is or is not hazardous.

C. A Hazardous Substance (40 CFR 302.4) includes the following:

(1) Any substance designated as hazardous under the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA);

(2) Any biological agent or other disease-causing agent that CERCLA defines in chapter 103, section 9601 (definition 33);

(3) Any substance DOT lists as hazardous under 49 CFR 172.101 and appendices; and

(4) Hazardous wastes defined in 40 CFR 261.3 and 49 CFR 171.8, such as asbestos, radioactive materials, explosives, or unexploded ordnance.

D. Hazardous Waste means a waste or combination of wastes defined in 40 CFR Part 261.3 and substances defined as hazardous waste in 49 CFR 171.8.

E. A Health Hazard is:

(1) A chemical, mixture of chemicals, or a pathogen for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees. The term “health hazard” includes chemicals that are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, agents that act on the hematopoietic system, and agents that damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes. It also includes stress due to temperature extremes. You can find definitions of these types of chemicals in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.1200;

(2) A work-related situation in which an employee(s) may be exposed to chemicals or groups of chemicals that are categorized by 29 CFR 1910.1200, Appendices A and B;

(3) Stress due to temperature extremes associated with work sites or the use of PPE where hazardous material/waste or emergency response operations are taking place; and

(4)  A work-related situation where an employee(s) may be exposed to biological elements such as ticks and mosquitoes that carry animal borne infections such as Lyme disease or West Nile Virus, poisonous plants, or from an animal bite (e.g., rabies, venom, etc.) or insect sting. These situations include exposure to Hantavirus or Brucellosis.

F. Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) is an atmospheric concentration of any toxic, corrosive, or asphyxiant substance that poses an immediate threat to life or health, would cause irreversible or delayed adverse health effects, or would interfere with an individual's ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere.

G. A Job Hazard Assessment (JHA) is a systematic method for breaking down a job or activity into basic steps, examining each step for potential hazards, and identifying safety procedures to eliminate or reduce those hazards (see 240 FW 1, Exhibit 1).

H. An Occupational Health Physician (OHP) is a licensed doctor of medicine. Preferably, the OHP is certified by the American Board of Occupational Health Physicians in the practice of occupational medicine.

I. Oxygen-deficient is an atmosphere where the percentage of oxygen by volume is less than 19.5 percent.

J. Oxygen-enriched is an atmosphere where the percentage of oxygen by volume is more than 23.5 percent.

K. Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) are regulatory limits on the amount or concentration of a chemical, physical, or biological hazard that workers may be exposed to without adverse health effects. OSHA publishes PELs in the General Industry and Construction regulations (29 CFR 1910 and 29 CFR 1926).

L. Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) are recommended limits of exposure to various chemicals and physical or biological hazards that the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists publishes. Industrial hygienists believe that nearly all workers can be exposed, day after day, over a working lifetime, up to these TLVs without adverse health effects. Service actions should address complying with TLV standards whenever feasible.

M. Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Site is an area where accumulation of hazardous substances creates a threat to the health and safety of individuals, the environment, or both. Examples of such sites may include, but are not limited to, surface impoundments, landfills, dumps, and fuel storage facilities.

6.7 What do employees need to know about site classification levels to understand this chapter? There are four levels of sites that drive the use of PPE and other requirements. See Table 6-2.

Table 6-2: Site classification levels

Level A: The chemical substance has been identified and requires the highest level of protection for skin, eyes, and the respiratory system based on:

·   Measured or potential for high concentrations of atmospheric vapors, gases, or particulates;

·   Site operations and work functions involving a high potential for splash, immersion, or exposure to unexpected vapors, gases, or particulates of materials that are harmful to skin or capable of being absorbed through intact skin;

·   Substances with a high degree of hazard to the skin are known or suspected to be present and skin contact is possible; or

·   Operations are conducted in confined, poorly ventilated areas.

Level B: The type and atmospheric concentrations of substances have been identified and require a high level of respiratory protection, but less skin protection than that of a Level A site. This involves atmospheres:

·   With concentrations of specific substances that are IDLH and do not represent a severe skin hazard;

·   That do not meet the criteria for use of air-purifying respirators;

·   Containing less than 19.5 or greater than 23.5 percent oxygen; or

·   When direct reading organic vapor detection instruments indicate incompletely identified vapors or gases, but vapors and gases are not suspected of containing high levels of chemicals harmful to skin or capable of being absorbed through intact skin.

If  the preliminary site evaluation does not produce sufficient information to identify the hazards or suspected hazards (i.e., unknown atmosphere), the supervisor must provide an ensemble for PPE Level B as a minimum protection (see Table 6-3), and employees must use direct reading instruments, as appropriate, for identifying IDLH conditions.

Level C: The atmospheric contaminants, liquid splashes, or other direct contact will not adversely affect any exposed skin. This involves atmospheres:

·   Where the types of air contaminants have been identified, concentrations have been measured, and air purifying respirators are available to effectively remove the contaminants; and

·   Where all the criteria for the use of air-purifying respirators are met.

Level D: No known Level A, B, or C hazards are detectable. 

Hazards related to the environment or location may exist that require protective equipment (e.g., gloves, hardhats, etc.) when no atmospheric hazard is detectable. Work functions preclude splashes, immersion, or the potential for unexpected inhalation of or contact with hazardous chemicals.

6.8 What are the restrictions to work sites or hazardous areas based on these levels?

A. Level A: Employees must not access these locations.

B. Levels B and C: Employees may access Level B and C sites only after receiving appropriate training, PPE, and authorization as described below. The Project Leader must review FWS Form 3-2318 before sending it to the appropriate Directorate member (or their designee) for authorization.

(1) In the Regions, employees must seek authorization from their Regional Director or his/her/their designee. The Regional Safety Manager must review and approve Level B requests prior to authorization.

(2) HQ employees must seek authorization from their supervising Directorate member or his/her/their designee. The Chief, Division of Safety and Health must review and approve these requests prior to authorization.

(3) Only those officials identified in Table 6-1 as having authority to do so may authorize entry to Level B and C sites when initial exposure levels are identified, the employee’s proof of training is sufficient/proficient, respiratory protection qualification and fit-testing requirements have been met, and the employee has the appropriate PPE. See FWS Form 3-2318 for authorization. We allow verbal approval with written requests to follow within 48 hours.

C. Level D: Employees, volunteers, seasonal workers, and students may access Level D locations only after receiving appropriate onsite training necessary and obtaining appropriate PPE. The onsite command center determines the appropriate training.

6.9 What are the elements of the Service’s hazardous waste operations safety program? The Service’s program has essentially seven elements as discussed below:

A. Spill Reporting. If hazardous materials, oil discharges, transportation accidents, liquid and gas pipeline releases, and contaminated sites occur on Service property or as a result of our activities or equipment, personnel must:

(1) Report the event as required by 560 FW 3, Reporting Releases of Hazardous Substances, Oil Discharges, and Contaminated Sites and 561 FW 3, Clean Water Act, and

(2) Review their facility Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans for specific response actions on incidental releases.

B. Hazardous Material Site Characterization. Before we perform any contaminant-related field activities at a site, we must:

(1) Evaluate and classify the site to identify site hazards, such as chemical, biological, or physical hazards (e.g., in confined spaces) and to determine the appropriate safety and occupational health control procedures needed to protect our employees. Service personnel may use site-specific characterization and classification plans developed by the EPA or U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) or incorporate those plans into their own to meet this requirement. In addition, employees must be cautious about using radios and cell phones as some sites may contain explosives that radio and cell phone signals could affect.

(2) If it is an uncontrolled hazardous waste site, develop or have a contractor develop an emergency response plan and implement its requirements before beginning any contaminant-related activities at the site. The OSHA requirements for an emergency response plan are in 29 CFR 1910.120(l). See Table 6-2 for site classification information. Service personnel may use a response plan developed by other responding Federal agencies or incorporate those plans into their own to meet this requirement, as long as the existing plan meets the Service’s responsibilities in 29 CFR 1910.120(3).

C. Site-Specific Health and Safety Work Plans. Work that involves hazardous materials, spills, and hazardous waste often occurs both on and off Service property. We must develop a site-specific health and safety plan when this type of work occurs on our lands. Contractors performing work on our lands must provide their health and safety plans to us for consideration before they start work. When we are performing work off Service land that others manage (e.g., the EPA or USCG), we must follow their work plans and procedures and use the PPE required by their health and safety plan.

(1) Regional Environmental Compliance Coordinators or Regional Safety Managers must review and approve site-specific health and safety plans (i.e., Service-performed or contractor-performed) before work begins on Service lands. The work plan establishes requirements for controlling employee exposure to hazardous substances. The plan also should include an ongoing air monitoring program when appropriate. You can find the elements of a hazardous materials site-specific health and safety work plan in Exhibit 1 or through the Service’s Fisheries and Habitat Conservation Web Site. Modify the plan as needed for your particular situation.

(2) For known contaminant sites, we must monitor with direct-reading instruments to determine airborne contaminants before anyone may enter the site. We may also use information on monitoring from other Federal agencies to meet this requirement. The following monitoring is required:

     (a) Monitoring for combustible or explosive atmospheres, potential IDLH conditions, oxygen deficiency, oxygen enrichment, and toxic substances (if applicable); and

     (b) Monitoring for ionizing radiation (if applicable).

 D. PPE. Project Leaders and supervisors must ensure employees (including supervisors) working at oil spills, hazardous waste/hazardous material spill sites, or during site cleanups use the PPE described in Table 6-3, the PPE described in a current JHA for the work, or the PPE required in a site-specific health and safety work plan.

 Table 6-3: PPE protection requirements for Level B, C, and D sites

At this type of site…

Employees must wear this PPE…


·        Positive pressure, full-face self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), or positive pressure supplied air respirator with escape SCBA (approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH))

·        Hooded, chemical-resistant clothing (overalls and long-sleeved jacket, coveralls, one or two-piece chemical-splash suit, disposable chemical-resistant overalls)

·        Coveralls*

·        Gloves, outer, chemical-resistant

·        Gloves, inner, chemical-resistant

·        Boots, outer, chemical-resistant steel toe and shank

·        Boot-covers, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable)*

·        Hard hat*

·        Face shield*


·        Full-face or half-mask, air-purifying respirators (NIOSH-approved and rated for the existing hazard)

·        Hooded, chemical-resistant clothing (overalls, two-piece chemical-splash suit, disposable chemical-resistant overalls)

·        Coveralls*

·        Gloves, outer, chemical-resistant

·        Gloves, inner, chemical-resistant

·        Boots (outer), chemical-resistant steel toe and shank*

·        Boot-covers, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable)*

·        Hard hat*

·        Escape mask*

·        Face shield*


·        Coveralls

·        Gloves*

·        Boots/shoes, chemical-resistant, steel toe and shank

·        Boots, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable)*

·        Safety glasses or chemical splash goggles*

·        Hard hat*

·        Escape mask*

·        Face shield*

*May be optional. Project Leaders/supervisors determine if they are optional based on a complex decision-making process, taking into consideration a variety of factors such as identification of hazards or suspected hazards; potential exposure routes of entry to employees (inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, and eye or skin contact); performance of the PPE materials (and seams) in providing a barrier to these hazards and the environmental conditions at the work site; and current on-scene situations/conditions.

E. Medical. The Service’s medical surveillance program includes a medical exam, respiratory protection clearances, audiograms, and biological monitoring (see 242 FW 4).

(1) The exam is designed to assess an individual’s ability to perform activities safely.

(2) Biological monitoring helps the occupational health professional by detecting any absorption through the skin or gastrointestinal system, as well as by inhalation. Occupational health professionals also use this type of monitoring to assess body burden, reconstruct past exposure, monitor work practices, and test the effectiveness of PPE and in-place controls.

(3) Employees performing hazardous waste operations must get an occupational exposure assessment from the site’s safety and health professional before performing work. Those employees who may be exposed at or above medical surveillance action levels must participate in the medical surveillance program. See 242 FW 4, Medical Programs for more information.

F. Training and Education.

(1) Personnel involved in hands-on operational activities that potentially expose them to hazardous materials or substances must be trained according to the training and education requirements in Table 6-4 (see 29 CFR 1910.120(e) for more information).

Table 6-4: Required training

Work Situation

Personnel must take:

Oil spills

  • At a minimum, a 24-hour OSHA training course (called “Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, or “HAZWOPER” training) with annual 8-hour refresher or a 40-hour OSHA training course (depending on field activities being performed). Consult with your Regional Safety Manager for guidance in determining whether or not employees need a 24-hour or 40-hour course, or if there is an across-the-board 40-hour course requirement.
  • On-site safety briefing prior to conducting work.

Hazardous material spills

  • At a minimum, a 24-hour OSHA training course with annual 8-hour refresher or a 40-hour OSHA training course (depending on field activities being performed). Consult with your Regional Safety Manager for guidance in determining whether or not employees need a 24-hour or 40-hour course, or if there is an across-the-board 40-hour course requirement.
  • On-site safety briefing prior to conducting work.

Environmental Sampling at NPL*/  CERCLA sites

  • At a minimum, a 24-hour OSHA training course with annual 8-hour refresher.
  • On-site safety briefing prior to conducting work.

Hazardous material activities

  • Training at the First Responder Awareness Level, as mandated by OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120(g) and the material hazards present. First Responder Awareness Level personnel are responsible for self-protection, recognition, retreating, and reporting.
  • Training on established JHAs for hazardous materials-related activities.

General Work Activities

  • 4-hour on-site training provided to personnel with little or no exposure expected.
  • Read the applicable Service Manual chapters in Part 561, Compliance Requirements.

* NPL (or National Priority List) sites are those contamination sites destined for CERCLA cleanup.

(2) Additional training, such as Incident Command Structure (ICS) 100/200/700, training for All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and Utility Vehicles (UTV), Aviation (B3), Motorboat Operation Certification Course (MOCC), and local or environment-specific situations (e.g., for temperature stress (heat and cold), wildlife capture safety, etc.) may be required depending on spill-specific circumstances or levels of involvement.

(3) Personnel also must be thoroughly familiar with standard safety procedures and applicable site health and safety work plans before beginning work.

(4) Individuals reviewing or approving health and safety plans should receive training as required in the 40-hour OSHA training course.

G. Universal Safety Requirements. All employees must follow the requirements below to minimize the risk of exposure during contaminant-related activities:

(1) Do not eat, drink, chew gum or tobacco, or smoke inside a contaminated area. When leaving a contaminated area, you must be thoroughly decontaminated before eating, drinking, etc.

(2) Decontamination procedures must include a provision for personnel to use shower facilities as soon as possible after removing protective clothing. The shower facilities must be as close as practicable to the decontamination facility. Use warm water and soap for washing or a commercially prepared decontamination solution specific to the hazardous material/waste encountered.

(3) You cannot have facial hair that interferes with the respirator mask-to-face seal when you are required to wear respiratory protection (see 242 FW 14 and 29 CFR 1910.134).

(4) Avoid contact with contaminated surfaces to the extent possible (e.g., do not walk through puddles or other discolored surfaces, kneel on the ground, or place equipment on containers or on visibly contaminated surfaces).

(5) If substances are unknown, you must handle them as a hazardous material until someone can determine what the product is or that it is not hazardous.

6.10 What are the documentation requirements for hazardous waste operations? See Table 6-5.

Table 6-5: Documentation requirements

Project Leaders/supervisors must ensure that this documentation is maintained according to regulations and Privacy Act requirements…*

For this long…

Authorizations for access to Level B and C sites

Length of employment

Medical clearance for respiratory protection use

Until the next medical exam

Training records, including records for hazard communication, HAZWOPER, and ICS training

Length of employment

*Records can be maintained onsite, or for training records, in a Regional training database, or by documenting them in the Department’s Learning Management System

(i.e., DOI Learn). DOI Learn provides a “Learning Request Wizard,” a 3-step process, for requesting external training.

Attachments (Exhibits, Amendments, etc)

Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022