Hazardous Materials Transportation

Commodity Flow Studies of Hazardous Materials

Since 2009, IEM has conducted numerous hazardous materials studies that document priority hazardous materials by motor carrier, rail, pipeline and barge. As a result, attendance at Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) meetings has increased as much as 70% in some states.

Traditional Commodity Flow Surveys Don’t Provide a Complete Picture

Many LEPCs rely on traditional commodity flow surveys (CFS) which only provide a “snapshot” and do not include chemical origins and destinations, volumes, and frequencies. LEPCs need this actionable information in order to provide protective actions to evacuate or shelter in place during a chemical incident or release.
ChemFlow Composite

Hazmat Commodity Flow Study 1 Hazmat Commodity Flow Study 2IEM’s “Industry-Based” Commodity Flow Studies Produce Results

Focusing on priority chemicals results in priority hazmat planning. The “industry approach” involves the industries that store, manufacture or transport chemicals. IEM obtains chemical volumes, routes and frequencies to provide LEPCs with a more complete picture of “what is traveling through their back yard.” This is information helps LEPCs meet EPRCRA planning requirements.

Commodity Flow Study Outcomes

  • Improved planning, training, and preparedness for hazmat response teams
  • Strong, trusting relationships between industry, regulatory agencies and local officials
  • Realigned planning requirements to enhance response plans and public protective actions

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IEM became one of the first companies to focus solely on emergency management and to use quantitative data and science to inform decisions in emergency management. Over the past 35 years, IEM has grown from a company of one to an employer of over 550 employees, and has provided clients and communities with innovative solutions that produce results and save lives.

The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) is jointly managed by FEMA and the U.S. Army. The program ensures maximum protection for the communities surrounding U.S. chemical weapons stockpile sites. Since 1993, IEM has provided program integration services to FEMA and through FEMA to the states and counties that are part of CSEPP.

In 1999, FEMA selected IEM to be the CSEPP onsite Program Management and Integration Contractor. IEM worked with program managers to develop a flexible protection framework that broke down the “maximum protection” mandate into measurable benchmarks. These benchmarks have been adopted by emergency managers in 10 states, 40 countries, and one Tribal Nation.
IEM was awarded a five-year BPA with FEMA to continue working to further CSEPP initiatives between 2000 and 2004. During this time IEM was contracted to develop a secure website to facilitate communication and information-sharing among CSEPP planners nationwide who work in different jurisdictions. The website IEM created now has over 1,000 active users who use it as their primary source of CSEPP information. IEM also developed a demonstration version of an interactive computer-based “game” designed to illustrate the effects of different protective action decisions in a CSEPP emergency to citizens in the Madison County, KY, CSEPP community.

FEMA awarded IEM a second five-year BPA from 2005-2011. IEM was asked to provide CSEPP technical and analytical studies, risk assessments, support for development of programmatic guidance and preparation of reports to Congress. IEM was required to evaluate the Oregon CSEPP community’s readiness in the event of a depot incident. IEM also assisted in the planning and execution of regular readiness exercises and supported pre-exercise meetings. IEM’s work for CSEPP has been recognized on multiple levels. In 2004, FEMA and IEM received a Profiles in Innovation Award for Emergency Preparedness and Response Excellence from GOVSEC (Government Security Expo and Conference). IEM continues to work with FEMA to increase preparedness and achieve measurable results.

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QEM uses the information gathered from conducting different scenarios to calculate the risk and impact of implementing different risk-reducing strategies. It pinpoints the actions that are the most effective at reducing risk across a wide spectrum of potential events. QEM allows clients to know the best way to allocate funds and bridge gaps in preparedness without spending thousands of dollars to implement ideas that cannot work.

QEM’s methodology has been applied to hundreds of IEM projects, such as readiness assessments, chemical plant mitigation studies, protective action analyses, and hurricane evacuation planning. The U.S. Army and FEMA have repeatedly used QEM technology to assess strategies to protect citizens in case of an accidental release of chemical agents. DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) also utilized QEM to quantify the effectiveness of various chemical defense systems. The software continues to provide valuable solutions to clients.