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Hazmat

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If You See a Spill:

If you see an 18-wheeler or another type of vehicle (e.g. placarded tank, dump truck) leaking a product, please call 911 and report it. Do not touch any leaks or attempt to contain them (stay at a safe distance).

If You Spill:

As a truck driver/carrier or business that is leaking the product, there are no penalties for reporting a spill unnecessarily, but there may be significant penalties for not reporting one.

What to Report:

When reporting a hazardous material spill or release, please include the following in your call: 

  • Your name, location, organization, telephone number
  • Number and types of injuries or fatalities (if any)
  • Name and address of the party responsible for the incident; or name of the carrier or vessel, the railcar/truck number, or other identifying information
  • Types of material(s) released or spilled or description of placards (a placard example is like the picture above)
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Location of the incident
  • Source and cause of the release or spill
  • Quantity of materials released or spilled
  • What is the spill impacting (e.g. land, water) affected by release or spill
  • Danger or threat posed by the release or spill (schools or daycare nearby, nearby water ways)
  • Any other information that may help emergency personnel respond to the incident (e.g. wind direction)

Who to Call:

Remember to call 911.

Other Resources:

  • If the issue takes place in the City of Tuscaloosa, individuals can call 311 or 205-248-5311. (e.g. my neighbor is burning items, someone is dumping junk on an empty lot, and someone moving land without a permit)
  • Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) general complaint,  (205) 942-6168, or click here.
  • For tips on sheltering in place during a chemical release, visit Local Emergency Preparedness Committees (LEPC).
  • A PDF version to review or download, of the EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDEBOOK (ERG) can be found by clicking here.

Remember: If you are on a hazmat scene and feel you are in danger, please safely evacuate. If told to shelter in place, click here to see the steps needed to do so. 

 

Pipeline Rupture

 

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If you plan on digging:

Call 811 before digging to insure it is safe to do so and keep you from being liable for damages.

For Signs of a Pipeline leak or Rupture: Not all signs need to be present to indicate a leak. 

  • Dead or discolored vegetation, stains or liquid on the ground near the pipeline, dirt being blown into the air, dense white cloud or fog, or frozen ground near the pipeline
  • Colorful sheens on water surfaces, bubbles coming from bodies of water or standing water
  • Hissing or roaring sound    
  • Strong petroleum scent, mild fragrant odor (Ethanol), or other pungent odor such as sulfur (rotten eggs or garlic-like); Natural Gas may also be odorless
  • Fire coming out of or on top of the ground or explosion

If you suspect a leak or a leak occurs, you should: 

  • Leave the area immediately in an upwind direction and warn others to stay away
  • If near a school, evacuate students and staff from the area immediately as outlined in the school's emergency response plan
  • Do not light a match, start an engine, use a telephone or cell phone or turn on/off any electrical appliances, and avoid potential ignition sources, which may cause an explosion or fire
  • Once you are a safe distance away from the potential leak use a telephone or cell phone to call 911 and the number you may have seen on the marker
  • Do not drive into an area where you suspect a leak, and do not touch or operate pipeline valves
  • Avoid making contact with escaping liquids or vapors as potential hazards may include eye, skin and respiratory irritation and the product may be highly flammable
  • Do not turn any seen pipeline valves

It is a federal crime to damage, remove or destroy a pipeline marker.