Environmental Health & Safety

Hazardous Material Emergency Response Plan

January 2010
  1. Incidental Chemical Leak or Spill Procedures
  2. Large Scale Chemical Leak or Spill Procedures
  3. Personal Injury Chemical Leak or Spill Procedures
  4. Explosion / Fire




In accordance with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Amherst College Environmental Health and Safety Committee, Amherst College has designed, implemented and maintains this Emergency Management Plan in order to better prepare the campus and the community in cases of accidental biological, chemical and radioactive releases.


The Hazardous Material Emergency Response Plan (HMERP) is the standard operating guideline that Amherst College shall use in the event of a hazardous material incident. The HMERP which is part of the more detailed Amherst College Emergency Preparedness Plan is intended to assist the college and our emergency response agencies with an organized response to any incident that may involve the accidental release of biological, chemical and radioactive material. The HMERP shall include not only the above referenced releases and spills, it will also address fires, personal injury accidents, acquisition and use of reference material including MSDS's and the Incident Command System, both internal and external.


The Hazardous Material Emergency Response Plan shall be designed, used and maintained by those members of the campus community whose responsibility it is to respond, evaluate, coordinate, organize, mitigate and clean-up a release of a hazardous material that may adversely affect the health and safety of the Amherst Community and /or the environment. Those departments and employees that are or have the potential to become part of the HMERP shall include, but are not limited to; Amherst Fire and Police Departments, Amherst College Campus Police, the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Physics, the Physical Plant Service Desk, Mechanical Shop, Grounds and Landscape Department, the Power Plant, Environmental Health and Safety and the Amherst College Administrative Offices. The HMERP can apply to both incidental and large scale incidents that could be handles in-house or with the aid of our local emergency services, respectively.


Acute Health Hazard: an illness or injury that is associated with a single or multiple short term exposure to a chemical, element or compound.

Asbestos: is a naturally occurring hydrated mineral silicate with fibers or bundles of fine single crystal fibers. It is mined throughout the world in countries such as Africa, Australia, Canada and even the United States. Once mined, the asbestos ore is crushed and ground into long thread-like fibers of material. It has for several years been used for acoustical, decorative and fire-proofing surfacing, to cover pipes, boilers and tanks and has also been used to bind materials together such as vinyl floor tiles, concrete, piping, fume hoods and interior / exterior siding. Asbestos although banned for many reasons can still be found and manufactured in the United States. Friable asbestos containing material has > 1% asbestos and can be “crumbled or reduced to powder by hand pressure.” When asbestos is friable and air-borne it poses the most significant risk in terms of exposure.

Chronic Health Hazard: an illness or injury that manifests itself after long term exposure
(single long duration or several short contacts) to a toxic material or substance.

Compressed Gas: a gas or mixture of gases confined within a container and having an absolute pressure that exceeds 40 psi at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combustible Liquid: a liquid having a flash point at or above 100 deg.F, but less than 200 deg.F

Corrosives: solids, liquids or gases that burn or otherwise damage skin tissue at the site of contact. Corrosive material can be acids or bases with a pH of 0-5 or 9-14, respectively.

  • The pH of water (neutral) is approximately 7.0
Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act: The Federal EPA requires facilities to provide information on the presence of hazardous chemicals and on releases, both accidental and routine, of such chemicals. This information is maintained and used by the state and local planning committees, which include hospitals, police and fire departments, boards of health and emergency response teams.

Explosives: These chemical substances detonate. The cause is typically an initiating mechanism such as shock or the localized concentration of heat

Flammable Gas: any material that is a gas a 68 deg. F or less and 14.7 psi of pressure and is ignitable at 14.7 psi when in a mixture of 13% or less by volume with air, or any material whose vapor possesses a flammable range at 14.7 psi with air of at least 12%, regardless of the lower limit.

Flammable Liquid: a liquid having a flash point below 100 deg.F

  • Class 1A has a flash point below 73 deg.F and a boiling point below 100 deg.F
  • Class 1B has a flash point below 73 deg.F and a boiling point at or above 100 deg.F
  • Class 1C has a flash point at or above 73 deg.F and below 100 deg.F
Flammable Materials: Solid, liquid or gaseous materials that ignite easily and burn rapidly when exposed to an ignition source.

Flammable Solid: are materials that will ignite if;

  • it is a wetted explosive
  • thermally unstable and can undergo a strong exothermic decomposition
  • a readily combustible solid
Flash Point: the minimum temperature that a flammable liquid gives off sufficient vapor to first form an ignitable mixture with air at the surface of the liquid.

Fire Point: as the temperature of a flammable liquid increases beyond the flash point, a temperature is reached that will support continuous combustion and be self sustaining until the fuel source has been completely consumed.

Hazard Class: a category assigned by the federal Dept. of Transportation (DOT) that identifies a material in shipment as being a flammable gas, flammable liquid, corrosive, poison, and dangerous when wet.

Hazardous Materials: substances and materials that pose a risk to the safety and health of the community and the environment and has been identified and listed by the DOT.

Hazardous Wastes: substances designated by the federal EPA as a hazardous material under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) with properties that now make the material unusable because of age or contamination.

Ignitability: a RCRA characteristic of a waste liquid that has a flash point less than or equal to 140 deg.F

Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH): the atmospheric concentration of any substance in a location that poses an immediate threat to life, causes irreversible or delayed adverse health effects, or interferes with an individual's ability to escape from said atmosphere during a 30 minute escape period.

Liquid Natural Gas (LNG): Natural Gas

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG): Propane

Lower Explosive Limit (LEL / LFL): the concentration of a gas or vapor in the air below which it will not burn when exposed to an ignition source.

Oxidizers: a substance that evolves or generates oxygen at ambient temperatures or when exposed to heat

Permissible Exposure Level (PEL): the time weighted average threshold limit value of substances listed by OSHA to which workers can be exposed continuously for an eight hour workday without suffering ill effects.

pH: a means of expressing the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution.

Radioactive Material: materials that emit radiation, exposure to which could cause adverse health risks.

Reactivity: a RCRA characteristic of a waste that readily undergoes a violent change without detonating; reacts violently with water, forms potentially explosive mixtures with water, generates toxic gases, vapors, or fumes in quantities sufficient to present a danger to human health or the environment, is capable of detonation or an explosive reaction if it is subjected to a strong initiating source or if it is heated under confinement; is readily capable of detonation, explosive decomposition, or reaction at standard temperature and pressure, or is a forbidden explosive.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): a federal statute that empowers the EPA to regulate the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes.

Specific Gravity: the mass of a given volume of matter compared to the mass of an equal volume of water.

Spontaneously Combustible: solid or liquid materials that ignite spontaneously without exposure to an ignition source.

Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP): is an EPA SW-846 analytical method (Method 1311) that simulates sanitary landfill contaminant leaching in waste samples. Based upon concentrations of the TCLP constituents and guidelines set forth in 40 CFR 261.4, the solid waste samples can be deemed hazardous or non-hazardous.

Threshold Limit Value (TLV): a guideline that was developed to help determine the airborne concentration of a substance to which nearly all workers can be exposed day after day without experiencing adverse health effects.

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): a federal statute that empowers EPA to obtain production and test data from industry on all small groups of toxic substances, other than pesticides and drugs whose manufacture, processing, distribution, use or disposal could present unreasonable risk of injury or damage to the environment.

Toxic: the ability of a material to cause disease, injury, or death in exposed humans and animals at relatively low concentrations.

Toxicity: RCRA characteristic of a waste, by which using a special test procedure, a representative sample of the waste is found to contain certain constituents identified by the EPA at a concentration equal to or greater than prescribed levels.

Vapor Density: the mass of a vapor or gas compared to the mass of an equal volume of another gas or vapor, most likely air.

Ultimate Responsibility

Under the direction of the Amherst College President, Dean of Faculty and the Treasurer, the Director of Facilities Management and Planning at the Physical Plant shall assume the responsibility of Emergency Director for all campus emergencies including hazardous material incidents.
  1. Working with the Campus Police Chief, Environmental Health & Safety Manager, Chemical Hygiene Officer, Assistant Directors, Engineers and the appropriate supervisors, the Emergency Director will be able to implement the appropriate emergency operations for incidental spills, discharges of oil and any other hazardous material incident that does not warrant the use of self-contained breathing apparatus and/or "Level B" or greater personal protective equipment.
  2. The Emergency Director for Amherst College shall be ultimately responsible for the incident, including all aspects of control, hazard mitigation, health and safety, clean-up and the financial burden that will be placed upon the college.
  3. Provided the incident remains small and manageable, the Amherst College Emergency Director shall coordinate, maintain and oversee a college specific Incident Command System. A flow chart has been attached to this program and the Amherst College Emergency Preparedness Plan which outlines the Incident Command System for the College. The Incident Command System for Amherst College maintains the appropriate span of control for the Emergency Director with the following administration, faculty and support staff only reporting directly to the ED:
  • Amherst College Public Affairs Officer
  • Amherst College Treasurer
  • Logistics Officer (coordinates contractors, Red Cross, housing and food services)
  • Environmental Health & Safety Manager
  • Chemical Hygiene Officer
  • Police Department
  • Physical Plant Services / Operations
If the hazardous material incident involves a significant biological or chemical incident, fire, medical emergency or other occurrence which overtaxes the resources of Amherst College, then the Amherst College Director of Facilities Management and Planning, or their respective designee shall request that the Amherst Fire Department shall be notified.
  1. In accordance with the requirements of the State Fire Prevention Code, 527 CMR 1.0, the head of the fire department or their designee shall assume the responsibility for the Amherst College Incident Command System and shall convey the appropriate information to the on-site Amherst College ED.
  2. At this point, the Director of Facilities Management and Planning or their designee will surrender the Incident Command system from in-house to the Amherst Fire Department.
    *See Incident Command Flow Chart(s) in Appendix A

Potential Incidents

The most common hazardous material incidents that are likely to occur at Amherst College would be:
  1. Incidental spills involving antifreeze, diesel fuel, gasoline and oil on the parking lots around the college campus
  2. Incidental spills involving chemicals within a laboratory
  3. Incidental release of natural or propane gas within a laboratory
  4. Incidental release of propane during refilling operations
  5. Incidental release of freon during transfer or reclamation

Past Incidents

  1. Larger scale hazardous material releases and spills that have occurred in the past include:
    • Oil discharge from an underground fuel oil tank at Alumni House
    • Oil discharge from an underground fuel oil tank at Babbott House
      • discovered during tank removal
    • Oil overfill at the fuel tanks, North of the Heating Plant
    • Accidental release of ammonia underneath LeFrak Gymnasium
    • Chemical spill resulting from a failure of shelving in Merrill Science Center


Hazardous Material Sites and Contacts DepartmentBuildingContactPhone Numbers


Life Sciences

Floors 1-4

Maureen Manning Office 542-8328

Merrill Science

Floors 1, 4, 5

Kristi Ohr Office 542-2736
Dining Services Valentine Hall Robert Campbell Office 542-2220
Fine Arts Fayerweather Hall Richard Scorpio Office 542-5784
Geology Earth Science Building Tekla Harms Office 542-2711
OAS Print Shop College Hall (Basement) Barbara St.Onge Office 542- 2820
Athletics Caddy Shack (Orr Rink) Bob Ball Office 542-8396
Garage Garage Kim Steinbeck Office 542-8368
Grounds Old Power Plant Bob Shea Office 542-8369
Env. Health and Safety Haz - Store Building (Bays 1-4) Richard Mears Office 542-8189
Paint Shop Seymore Shed (2nd Floor) Richard Kimble
Office 542-8253
Power Plant Heating Plant Jeff Isabelle Office 542-2261
Physics Merrill Science Misha Coggeshall-Burr Office 542-2689
Student Organizations Campus Center, Pond Dorm, Pratt Dorm   Office 542-5773
Theater & Dance Kirby and Webster John Doyle
Office 542-2437



Hazardous Material Locations (Site Specific)

Locations at Amherst College that pose the most significant risks to our emergency response agencies include

Building Area/Room Hazardous Condition/Materials
Caddyshack Garage Pesticides
Haz-Stor Bldg Bay 3 Batteries and PCB Ballast's
Haz-Stor Bldg Bay 4 Asbestos, Chemicals, Lead Paint, Paints & Oils
LeFrak Gym Exterior Ammonia Gas Tank
Life Sciences Entire Bldg Biology Research Laboratories
Merrill Science 130A Gas Cylinders
Merrill Science 130B Air/Water Reactive, Corrosives, Flammables
Merrill Science 130C Hazardous Waste Main Accumulation Area
Merrill Science 130D Radioactive Materials (Univ. of Mass/Amherst)
Merrill Science 400A Flammable Liquid Storage Area
Merrill Science 400B Corrosive Liquid Storage Area
Merrill Science 5th Floor Chemistry Research Laboratories
Old Power Plant Garage Pesticides
Earth Science 2-3 Geology Research Laboratories
Earth Science Rm 012 Hazardous Waste Main Accumulation Area
Pratt Pool Filter Room Chlorine and other Pool Chemicals



Personal Protective Equipment

Because Amherst College is currently only capable of handling "incidental spills" involving chemicals, gasoline, oil and other similar materials, our personal protective equipment needs are limited. Amherst College Hazardous Material Emergency Response Personnel have the necessary equipment to address an incident of level "C" or less. The equipment available consists of:
  1. Negative Pressure Respirators with combination cartridges
  2. Tyvek suits or similar with protective coatings to retard some chemicals and oil
  3. Nitrile Gloves and Boots
  4. Absorbent pads, pillows and socks for acids, flammable liquids and oils
  5. Sodium Bicarbonate (50 lb. bags)
  6. Plastic (spark resistant) tools including brooms, shovels and assorted tools
  7. Plastic and Steel Containment Drums - 5, 30 and 55 gallon sizes
  8. Assorted patches and plugs
    The above referenced equipment is located in the following areas;
    • Hazardous / Universal Waste Storage Building (Bay 1) 2 East Dr.
    • Physical Plant Heating Plant 155 College St.
    • Merrill Science (Room 400) 15 Mead Dr.

Emergency Response Detection Equipment

Amherst College Physical Plant can initially respond to leaks, odors and spills involving chemicals, gasoline, natural gas, propane and other similar concerns with detection equipment currently available on site. The office of Environmental Health and Safety at Physical Plant has and maintains the following combustible gas detectors that are capable of detecting gases with a flammable range as well as oxygen, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide:
  1. Industrial Scientific 4 Gas Monitors - Plumbing Shop
  2. Crowcon (4) Gas Monitors 2 Physical Plant, Rooms 003 / 105
  3. B&W (4) Gas Monitor 1 Heating Plant, Main Office
Amherst College Hazardous Material Emergency Response Personnel can also respond to issues of air quality that may involve the presence of carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen or sulfur. Environmental Health & Safety at Physical Plant has an indoor air quality monitor capable of identifying and quantifying the material referenced above.
  • Metrosonics Aq-5000 1 Physical Plant, Room 105 c. pH paper is also readily available in Physical Plant and Merrill Science Center
A. Asbestos Incidents

Incidents involving or believed to be asbestos should be immediately reported to the Environmental Health and Safety Manager. · The EH&S Manager shall, to the best of their ability mitigate the hazard until an outside contractor can be employed. b. If the EH&S manager can not be reached, the Physical Plant Service Desk or Amherst College Campus Police must immediately contact the specified Asbestos Contractor;

Abide Inc.,
Phone (413) 525-0644
Pager (413) 263-1146
B. Corrosive Material
  1. Incidents involving corrosive chemicals should first be checked to determine pH.
  2. pH paper or similar shall be used to ascertain whether the chemical is acidic or basic
  3. Using the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, the Hazardous Material Emergency Response Personnel should attempt to neutralize the material.
  4. Sodium Bicarbonate should be utilized for spills involving acids
  5. Acetic Acid / Vinegar should be used for spills involving bases
C. Flammable Liquids

Incidents involving flammable liquids should first be checked for the Lower Explosive Level, here-after referred to as LEL to check the flammability or ignitability, the Hazardous Material Emergency Response Personnel should utilize the Flammable Gas
Detection Device located at the Physical Plant. The AIM 3000 is located in the office of Environmental Health & Safety, room 105.

  1. If the gas detector indicates a level higher than 10% of the LEL, evacuate the building and contact the Amherst Fire Department
  2. If the spilled material is not within the flammable range…
  • absorb the material utilizing PIG’s Lite-Dri, Socks, Pads or Speedi-Dry.
  • The material should then be double bagged, labeled and placed in the Main Accumulation Area for future pick-up.
D. Poisons

Incidents involving poisons most likely will not be able to be taken care of in-house. Respiratory protection will need to be worn in order to prevent or limit personnel over-exposure.

  • Contact Amherst College Chemical Hygiene Officer, Environmental Health and Safety Mgr., or the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at the University of Massachusetts / Amherst.

Emergency Response Agencies

Amherst College has previously identified Emergency Response Agencies that are able to assist in the mitigation of a hazardous material incident involving but not limited to asbestos, chemicals, gas leaks and odors, oil spills and other incidents that may adversely affect the college community, the general public and/or the environment. The agencies that are to be called upon include:

Hazardous Material Company Telephone
Asbestos Abide Inc. (413) 525-0644
(413) 263-1146
Asbestos DecTam Inc. (978) 470-2860
Chemical/Oil Environmental Health & Safety (413) 545-2682
University of Mass/Amherst (413) 545-2121
Chemical/Oil Triumvirate Environmental (617) 628-8098
An all-inclusive list of contractors is located at the end of the Emergency Response Plans (See appendix).

Amherst Fire Department

The Amherst Fire Department is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are (2) fire stations located within the
Town of Amherst;
  1. Central Fire Station - 68 North Pleasant St. (413) 256-4086
  2. North Fire Station - 603 East Pleasant St. (413) 256-4085
Amherst College is primarily served by the Central Fire Station, which is located one block away from the college. The Amherst Fire Department operates both the fire and emergency medical services for the town, which includes not only Amherst College but Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts as well. There are at least (7) firefighter EMTs and/or Paramedics on duty at all times.
  • The on-duty firefighters operate an engine company or (2) ambulances from each station
The Amherst Fire Department is augmented by additional personnel;
  • 22 member paid on-call force of firefighter / EMTs
  • 30 member student / volunteer force of firefighter / EMTs, 8 that reside at the North Fire Station.
In addition to staffing the ambulance and fire apparatus for the Town of Amherst, the fire department also serves as the initial hazardous material response team for Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts. The fire department currently has (2) members that are assigned to the regional hazardous material response team which is located in the Ludlow / Springfield Area.
  • The Regional Hazardous Material Response Team operates / responds as needed in levels referred to as Tiers. Tier 1 involves the response of the Amherst Fire Department supplemented by the (2) members of the department assigned to the regional team. Tier 2 (if required) increases the number of personnel and the necessary equipment from the district / regional hazardous material response team.
If the Amherst Fire Department is called upon to respond to Amherst College for a fire or hazardous material incident, it must be understood that they assume the role of "incident command". The highest ranking fire officer on the scene of the emergency is the "Incident Commander".
  • Amherst College representatives, both administrative and support staff will assist the "Incident Commander" as needed.
  • The Emergency Director or his/her designee for Amherst College should remain with the "Incident Commander" at all times for reasons of communication, continuity, monetary and personnel support.
The Emergency Director or their designee should provide the following;
  1. Police Officers in a number sufficient to protect public and property
  2. Financial support as necessary to mitigate the hazard
  3. Public Affairs Officer to properly assist the media
  4. Support staff as necessary to properly manage the incident
  5. An area for rehabilitation (i.e. rest, food, water etc.)
  6. Recordkeeping staff to properly document the incident, expenditures and resources used.
  7. An Area for Incident Command, if necessary.

Incidental vs. Large Scale Spills

In terms of size, Amherst College has identified two levels of spills;
  1. Incidental Spills
  2. Large Scale Spills
Any leak, odor or spill that has been identified as an incidental spill can and will be handled in house by our Hazardous Material Emergency Response Team using spill containment and personal protective equipment that is currently available. If personal protective equipment above level "C" is required, then the incident will no longer be considered "incidental." Under the direction of the Amherst College Emergency Director, the Environmental Health & Safety Manager and/or the Chemical Hygiene Officer, a spill no longer or not considered incidental will be referred to one or all of the following;
  1. Amherst Fire Department
  2. Environmental Health & Safety, UMass/Amherst
  3. Triumvirate Environmental

Incidental Leaks, Releases and Spills

In accordance with the Amherst College Hazardous Waste Contingency Plan, an "incidental release or spill" shall mean a small scale discharge, leak, release or spill that can be absorbed, neutralized or otherwise controlled at the time of the incident by personnel at the college. The personnel referenced here-in shall refer to laboratory staff familiar with the material, Academic Support Staff including the Chemical Hygiene Officer and his/her designee, Physical Plant Staff and Environmental Health and Safety Staff provided they have all received the necessary training. In order for the Hazardous Material discharge, leak, release or spill to be considered incidental, there can be no potential health risks, potential for explosion or fire and no risk of personal injury. In the event of an accident, explosion, fire, leak, release or spill the first priority must be personal health and safety. The following is the recommended practice that should be followed in the event of a hazardous material incident;
  1. Tell others in the area to evacuate
  2. Evacuate the area or room
  3. Call the Amherst College Campus Police from a safe location at 542-2111 · Give the dispatcher as much information as possible:
  1. Your name
  2. Building and Room where the incident took place
  3. Where you are calling from
  4. What happened
  5. Number of injuries
  6. Name of the chemical involved
Notify personnel in the room or area 2. Contact the Chemical Hygiene Officer or Environmental Health and Safety by calling the Amherst College Police at 542-2111.

Tell the Police Dispatcher:

  1. You have a small chemical spill in the laboratory and that you are requesting;
    • Chemical Hygiene Officer, Dr. Kristi Ohr, or
      Environmental Health and Safety, Rick Mears
  2. the name of the chemical or hazardous material involved, and how much leaked or was spilled
  3. if anyone is injured, and the extent of the injuries
  4. whether or not personnel have evacuated the area/room
  5. if the door to the facility or laboratory is closed
  6. if the facility / laboratory is equipped with a fume hood
  7. what is being done to mitigate the hazard
  8. where you are calling from
  9. where the Police Officer, the Chemical Hygiene Officer or Environmental Health and
    Safety should meet you
  1. Notify personnel in the area that the spill has occurred and to evacuate
  2. Leave the room immediately
  3. Close the door to the laboratory as you leave
  4. Call the Amherst College Campus Police from a safe location 542-2111
Tell the Dispatcher…
  1. your name
  2. phone number from where you are calling
  3. area, building and room number where the incident has occurred
  4. if there is or was an explosion or fire
  5. how many people are injured
  6. the extent of the injuries
    what is being done for those injured
  7. the name of the chemical or hazardous material involved
  8. how much was spilled
    has the material been contained
  9. who is in charge of the laboratory
  10. who will meet the ambulance, fire or police department at the main door
  11. your intended location, after you evacuate the building or area.

Small Incident (no ambulance required)

  1. Immediately remove all clothing affected by spill
  2. Flush the area for at least 15 minutes
  3. Obtain a copy of the MSDS to determine additional first aid measures, if
Eye Injury – Chemical
  1. Immediately flush the eye for at least 15 minutes. Affected eye should be lower than the uninjured eye
  2. Have someone else call for the Amherst College Campus Police 542-2111
Large Incident - Ambulance Required
  1. Notify other personnel in the facility or laboratory
  2. With Personal Protective Equipment (gloves etc.) remove all clothing. Chemicals will pool in belts, pockets and shoes
  3. Have someone else call the Amherst College Campus Police 542-2111
  4. Flush the entire body, eye or face for at least 15 minutes or until the arrival of the Amherst Ambulance
  1. Notify occupants of the area or room
  2. Evacuate the area, laboratory or room
  3. Close the door to the room as you exit
  4. Activate the building Fire Alarm
  5. Call the Amherst College Campus Police from a safe location 542-2111
Tell the Dispatcher…
  1. Your name
  2. the number you are calling from
  3. the area, building and room number where the fire is located
  4. if there are any injuries
    • how many
    • the extent of injuries
  5. cause of the fire
    • chemical
    • electrical
    • gas
  6. if there are additional laboratory hazards in the area or room
    • flammable gases or liquids
    • poisons
    • radioactive or biological materials
  7. who will meet the Amherst College Campus Police or Amherst Fire Department at the main door
  8. your location, after evacuation from the building
If trained and the fire is small…
  1. Select the appropriate fire extinguisher
  2. Check the door to the room (if cool), open it
  3. Extinguish the fire. After the extinguisher has been used, notify the Physical Plant at 542-2254.

Amherst College Campus Police Responsibilities

The Amherst College Campus Police Department is initially responsible for the health and safety of the Amherst
College Campus Community. They are responsible for;
  1. monitoring the Amherst College Fire Alarm System
  2. receiving the initial report of chemical spill or fire and reporting it to the proper Amherst College Personnel or the Amherst Fire Department
  3. determining the need for the ambulance or other emergency response personnel.
  4. responding to the scene of the emergency
  5. meeting with the calling party at the main door or other predetermined location.
  6. establishing initial Incident Command until the arrival of the Amherst Fire Department, Amherst College Emergency Director, Environmental Health & Safety or the Chemical Hygiene Officer.
  7. establishing a cold zone (chemically safe area)
  8. setting up site security and preventing unauthorized access to the leak or spill
  9. assessing the scene of the emergency and requesting the necessary information, equipment and supplies
  10. site accountability and whether or not all persons were safely evacuated
  11. assisting the Incident Commander (Amherst Fire Department or Physical Plant) with crowd control and public information
  12. initiating the response of all necessary Amherst College personnel including;
  • Administration
  • Public Affairs
  • Additional Police Officers
  • Chemical Hygiene Officer
  • Physical Plant Director or Designee
  • Environmental Health & Safety
  • Engineering
  • Carpentry Shop
  • Custodial and Special Services
  • Electric Shop
  • Mechanical Shop - HVAC and Plumbing
  • Grounds
  • Service Desk Personnel
  • Dining Services

Reporting Requirements

As required, Amherst College shall report any incident involving a chemical leak, release or spill that is greater than
or equal to the "reportable quantity" for that particular material. Reportable quantities will be reported to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and when necessary the National Response Center. Any incident involving a chemical discharge, leak, release or spill that can not be handled in house shall be reported to the Amherst Fire Department. Depending on the material or the severity of the incident, the Incident Commander can and may request the assistance of the Regional Hazardous Material Response Team.

Critiques and Debriefing

Amherst College, under the direction of the Emergency Director or his/her designee will conduct critiques and debriefings soon after an incident, when deemed necessary. The critiques will aid in the identification of problems that were or will be encountered during the hazardous material incident. Our goal is to prevent the re-occurrence of problematic situations and to improve our overall response to any and all incidents.


All Amherst College personnel that are involved in Hazardous Material Emergency Response are trained to at least the First Responder Awareness Level if not the Operations or Technician's Level in accordance with 29 CFR 910.120. · Personnel within the Physical Plant, Dining Services, Information Services and in the Office of Admissions for the College are members of the Amherst Fire Department. These individuals receive annual training on Hazardous Material Emergency Response through the above referenced response agency. Additionally, other members of the College who have been selected to respond to "incidental discharges, leaks, releases and spills" have obtained the required training through the hazardous material waste contractor/hauler, a condition of our hazardous waste contract.
  • All training involving hazardous material response will occur at least annually.
  • A table top or mock drill will also occur annually to aid in the training process
  • Training records for the Amherst College Hazardous Material Emergency Response team will be maintained by the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.

Medical Surveillance

As required, all members of the Amherst College Hazardous Material Response Team will receive medical surveillance and consultation with the Occupational Physician at the Department of Occupational Health, Cooley Dickinson Hospital. The medical testing will be performed on all members of the team at least annually. A baseline medical examination will be performed as soon as possible to determine pre-existing conditions. Any overexposure will also be reported to the Emergency Director and the Office of Human Resources so that a follow-up medical evaluation can be performed.
[Quick Links]
Quick Links
  • Chemical Inventory System
  • Incident Report Forms
  • MSDS On-Line
  • Permit Application Forms – Town of Amherst
  • Sustainability
  • Water Quality Report – Town of Amherst