Tag Archives: hazardous materials
In Missouri spring means barbecues, dogwoods and fishing expeditions. Unfortunately, it can also mean hail, lightning, strong winds and even floods. If your home, business or community is affected by severe weather, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources can help. The department’s Natural Disaster Resources webpage offers publication and fact sheet links provides information on how to dispose of disaster debris, facts on open burning, reducing the impact of flooding, restoring drinking water and disaster response guidance for public water and wastewater facilities. Additional resources are also available.
If you need to report an environmental concern, the department offers an easy on-line form.
Call the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Spill Reporting Hotline at 573-634-2436 for environmental emergencies, such as:
- Oil and chemical spills.
- Radiological and biological discharges.
- Accidents causing releases of pollutants.
- Fish kills.
- Hazardous material incidents.
- Leaking abandoned containers.
Emergency responders staff the Spill Reporting Hotline 24/7 to provide technical assistance regarding spilled chemicals and necessary cleanup actions; work with the person or company responsible for the spill to ensure that proper cleanup is completed and impact to public health and the environment is minimized; conduct notifications to various agencies; and determine if an on-site response is needed by program staff.
Department’s Environmental Emergency Response staff were dispatched to the scene of a 13-car train derailment near Mosby, Missouri on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Union Pacific Railroad contacted the 24-Hour Spill Line at 5:26 a.m. to report a derailment of a Canadian Pacific train. Three hopper cars landed in Fishing River, each carrying approximately 80,000 pounds of glyphosate intermediate cake, a product used in the manufacture of herbicides. One tanker was leaking liquid fertilizer but this did not impact the creek as an earthen dam was constructed around the area.
Environmental consultants from Canadian Pacific Railroad collected water samples. Readings for pH level of the river indicate that there was no impact from the herbicide product and no fish kill was observed. The Fishing River remains dammed above and below the impacted area. After the rail cars are removed and it is safe to enter the area, a response contractor will pump the contents of the damned area.
The bridge was compromised in the derailment making removal of the derailed train cars difficult. A large crane was onsite to repair the bridge. Due to the position of the derailed cars, equipment being used and damage to the bridge combined with concern for personnel safety issues slowed efforts at the scene. The Environmental Emergency Responder conducted further investigation Monday.
The Environmental Emergency Response section is called to the scene of more than 300 emergencies each year, including fires, traffic accidents, leaking storage tanks and other incidents that could have a negative environmental impact. The department’s 24-Hour Spill Line receives more than 1,600 incident reports annually.
To report an environmental emergency, including fuel spills, please contact the 24-Hour Spill Line at (573) 634-2436. For more information about the program visit Environmental Emergency Response.
On March 5, the department’s 24-hour Environmental Emergency Response Hotline received a call from the Missouri Department of Transportation regarding an abandoned five-gallon bucket on East bound I-70 in the St. Louis area.
The label on the bucket indicated that the contents were a corrosive industrial cleaner. The bucket appeared to be about 1/3 full. Emergency staff responded and over packed the container, placing it into the abandoned container storage facility at the office. Staff will characterize the liquid and neutralize if necessary.
If you see a leaking or abandoned container, or witness an environmental emergency, please call the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 573-634-2436. Do not touch the material or abandoned containers. An environmental emergency poses an immediate threat to the public health or the well-being of the environment.
Emergency response is the department’s front line of defense against significant and imminent hazardous substance releases that impact public safety and the environment. Duty officers monitor the statutorily mandated Spill Reporting Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Staff provide technical assistance regarding the chemical and necessary cleanup actions, work with the responsible party to ensure that proper cleanup is completed and impact to the public health and environment is minimized, conduct notifications to various agencies, and determine if an on-site response is needed by emergency staff.
On average, the Environmental Emergency Response section receives more than 1,500 incident calls and responds to nearly 450 hazardous substance emergencies each year.
An environmental concern is a situation that you believe threatens the environment, such as a trash dump or discarded waste tires in a stream.
The department is launching a month-long effort to rid homes of mercury, with nearly 50 mercury drop-off locations throughout the state.
Working with fire departments and county health offices throughout the state, the department is providing mercury drop-off locations in communities statewide. Any private citizen or nonprofit agency can leave mercury-containing instruments, such as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, thermostats or switches, at any of these sites.
This program does not include compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, see the Household Compact Fluorescent Lamp Use and Disposal fact sheet detailing the proper disposal of CFLs.
Citizens seeking to dispose of items at these sites should first secure the item in two zip top plastic bags and then place it in a crush-proof sealed container, such as a coffee can, plastic margarine tub, or plastic beverage bottle.
Department staff will collect the dropped off items at the end of May for consolidation. Staff will then transport the mercury items to Jefferson City to recycle what can be recycled and properly dispose of the rest.
A person who is uncomfortable with transporting mercury instruments, or who has large quantities of mercury, can contact the department’s spill line at 573-634-2436 to arrange to have items picked up.
For location information, visit the list of mercury drop-off sites.
For more information on the mercury roundup, contact the nearest participating agency or the department’s Environmental Services Program at 573-634-2436.
Visit mercury for more information on mercury, including health effects and how to clean up a small mercury spill.
There’s hazardous waste in Missouri? You betcha. More than you may think.
Thankfully, the department has a program, the Hazardous Waste Program, that deals with hazardous waste on a daily basis.
Want to know what the program is doing to protect Missourians and the environment from these hazards? Check out the latest issue of the Hazardous Waste Management Commission Quarterly Report.
It’s actually a lot more interesting than the name might let on – lots of color photos and descriptions of sites from across the state. You never know, there may be a feature on the old gas station or empty lot just down the road from your house.
Topics in the July through September report include:
- How engineering controls work and when they are used.
- A grant to conduct environmental assessments for abandoned gas stations along Route 66.
- The program’s involvement with sites in Rogersville, Trenton, Kansas City and St. Louis.
At one time mercury was common in nearly every American household as a key component in such common household items as thermometers, thermostats and blood-pressure cuffs. As we have become more aware of the health effects of mercury, it has become less prevalent, but incidents of mercury spills still occur regularly. Cleaning up mercury spills correctly is very important for the health and safety of children and adults.
A small amount of mercury spilled on porous materials like cloth, carpet or wood, or trapped in a floor’s cracks and drains can expose everyone in the area for months or even years.
Mercury spills of any quantity can produce harmful vapors.
While the reportable quantity for mercury is 1 pound (approx. 2 tablespoons of liquid), a spill of any amount should be reported so that a technical individual can evaluate the spill and provide advice.
- Never use a household vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury. This will create more mercury vapors and contaminate your vacuum cleaner.
- Never use a broom on a mercury spill. Brooms scatter mercury droplets.
- Never pour liquid mercury or mercury compounds down the drain. Mercury will accumulate in the S-trap of the drain and may continue to emit harmful vapors.
- Never place mercury-laden fabrics in a washing machine. The washing machine may become contaminated. Dispose of clothing properly. For a household, this means double-bagging and placing in the garbage. For a business, this means disposal in accordance with state hazardous waste laws and regulations.
Cleaning Up Small Mercury Spills Fact Sheet
Household Compact Fluorescent Lamp Use and Disposal Fact Sheet – Information about cleaning up CFLs.
For technical advice and assistance, please contact the department’s 24-hour Environmental Emergency Response hotline at 573-634-2436 regarding any mercury spill.
On Oct. 20, the Environmental Emergency Response (EER) Section acquired a new piece of equipment in their arsenal to use when responding to address any chemical, petroleum or other material spilled on the Mississippi River that may impact the public health, safety and environment.
The program’s new 23-foot Munson Pack Cat LC is a transport catamaran landing craft with a bow door and twin 150 Yamaha motors. Two motors are required on this boat due to the tunnel hull catamaran design that offers more stability and shallow draft than the mono hull. The boat was acquired through a port security grant for the department to use and to also assist response agencies in the St. Louis Port area.
The department’s emergency responders are the department’s front line of defense to significant and imminent hazardous substance releases that impact public safety and the environment. Thirteen duty officers monitor the statutorily mandated Spill Reporting Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, on a rotating basis. Ten staff (in addition to the 13 duty officers) are stationed at six different locations throughout Missouri. State on-scene coordinators conduct operations out of these offices and are dispatched via the 24-hour spill reporting hotline by a duty officer in Jefferson City.
On average, the EER Section receives more than 1,500 incident calls and responds to nearly 450 hazardous substance emergencies each year. The EER Section staff includes hazardous material technicians in Jefferson City, St. Louis, Poplar Bluff, Kansas City, Macon and Springfield who respond when an environmental emergency occurs.
You may report an environmental concern online or call the 24-hour Environmental Emergency Response Hotline at 573-634-2436 to report an environmental emergency.
On Oct. 14, the Environmental Emergency Response Section (EER), the Buchanan County Emergency Management Director, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) conducted a flyover of the Missouri River. The primary mission of the flyover was to identify any abandoned or orphaned hazardous materials containers. This information gathering event will enable EER to develop a reconnaissance plan to retrieve any containers in and around the floodway. The MSHP provided a fixed wing aircraft for the flight. On Oct. 19-20, EER On-Scene Coordinators from the Kansas City Regional area conducted ground reconnaissance of the containers identified during the Oct. 14 flight. Less than fifteen containers have been identified as being left behind by the flood waters. The containers are of sizes varying from small propane cylinders up to a 10,000-gallon underground tank. The containers are mostly empty. EER will be working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on recovery and disposal of these orphaned containers
The department urges citizens in flood-prone areas to secure propane tanks properly and mark the tanks to help identify them and avoid safety problems prior to flooding.
Information regarding reducing the impact of flooding regarding propane tanks and agricultural chemicals is available in the department’s fact sheets:
To report an environmental emergency, including fuel spills, please contact the department’s spill line at 573-634-2436.
For more information, please visit the Environmental Services Program web site.
Visit the department’s Natural Disaster Resources for more information regarding disasters and disaster resources.
The Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Emergency Response Section was called out Oct. 25 to a Howard County trailer home fire after several first responders took ill while fighting the fire.
The department’s 24-hour environmental emergency hotline was contacted shortly before 3 a.m. by Brian Kunze, Howard County Emergency Management Director, regarding a fire at a house trailer located in southern rural Howard County. According to local officials, several responders may have suffered health effects from potential exposure to unknown materials at the scene and required medial attention.
Mr. Kunze requested assistance with determining the presence of any hazardous materials on-site and to stabilize the scene as necessary before local and state officials continue with their fire investigation. Department responders from two regional offices were dispatched to the scene to assist with site characterization.
The department also contacted the Missouri National Guard’s 7th Civil Support Team, based in Jefferson City, and requested them to respond with EER staff and provide support. Hazmat personnel set up a staging area in New Franklin to develop and implement an incident action plan.
Although the investigation into the fire is ongoing, the hazmat personnel have completed their initial survey and there can be no conclusions drawn at this time to identify what caused the symptoms observed in the first responders. The Fire Marshall continues to investigate the cause of the fire.
On average, the EER Section receives more than 1,500 incident calls and responds to nearly 450 hazardous substance emergencies each year. For more information on the program, visit Environmental Emergency Response.
For more information regarding hazardous waste, chemicals and debris associated with the production of methamphetamine visit Special Projects.
To report an environmental emergency, including fuel spills, please contact the spill line at 573-634-2436.
How do you properly – and legally – dispose of unwanted pesticides?
It partly depends on whether you are a household (individual), a farmer or a business.
Regardless of your classification in those three categories, the preferred method is to reuse the pesticides. Check with the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Pesticides at 573-751-5504 to see if the pesticides are banned or if there any restrictions for using the pesticide.
Missouri law requires householders, farmers and exempted persons manage hazardous wastes, which could include pesticides, they generate so as not to harm human health, threaten the environment or create a public nuisance.
If you have pesticides you’ve used at home, you are allowed to dispose of them with your normal trash. Your trash hauler could, however, refuse to pick these up. In this case you may have to seek other methods of disposal.
If you are unable to dispose of pesticides with your trash, the next option would be to take them to a household hazardous waste collection facility if they are willing to accept them.
Contact your Solid Waste Management District to locate the nearest collection facility.
There might also be a hazardous waste collection event in your area that would accept unwanted pesticides. The department maintains a list of these events.
If you are a farmer, a person primarily engaged in the production of crops or livestock for agricultural purposes, or both, many of the exemptions that apply to household hazardous waste also apply to you. Disposal in your trash may be legal, but you must ensure your pesticides don’t create a danger to human health or the environment.
Check the labels to see if there are any directions or recommendations for disposal. Sometimes manufacturers will offer options such as drop-off or take back programs.
Also check with the Bureau of Pesticides to see if there are restrictions on using the pesticide.
If there are no manufacturer options available or if the use of the pesticide is restricted, contact your Solid Waste Management District for additional options. As a final resort you may opt to hire a licensed hazardous waste transporter to take the pesticides to a permitted Treatment, Storage or Disposal facility.
An unused pesticide product becomes a waste when it is permanently removed it from service. If you have determined the pesticide is a waste you must then determine if it is a hazardous waste.
If it is a hazardous waste you are required to dispose of it at a permitted Treatment, Storage or Disposal facility. You are also required to use a licensed hazardous waste transporter to ship them.
If they are not hazardous wastes, they may be disposed of at a solid waste landfill or transfer station. Some special waste requirements may still apply, and would be determined by the solid waste facility receiving the waste.
If you have any questions about properly disposing of pesticides, give us a call at 800-361-4827.