The HRPDC sponsored two Pollution Prevention training programs for municipal workers on May 1st in Newport News and May 2nd in Suffolk. The goal of the training was to instruct employees on how to prevent pollution through “good housekeeping” practices, how to identify potential pollution risks, and establishing plans for safely responding to hazardous spills. The two sessions drew full houses on both sides of the harbor totaling nearly 125 employees, with all Hampton Roads jurisdictions represented.
Janet Frey from URS, the HRPDC’s continuing services consultant for projects involving water resources and stormwater issues, began the training with an overview of the federal and state stormwater regulations Hampton Roads municipalities must follow. Using pictures, she highlighted best practices and what-not-to-dos for the proper handling and storage of potentially hazardous pollutants, such as fuel oils, pesticides and other industrial-related items.
Frey led a group discussion regarding the importance of having a proper response plan in place to address spills when they occur. Exercises included, among others, how to estimate spill sizes for determining response options. The training wrapped up with a review of hazardous materials identification markers including the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) labels and the international adoptions of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Participants were charged to return to their localities and implement the knowledge they gained from the training through improving housekeeping tactics for potential pollutants, or reviewing/establishing a comprehensive response plan to address spills.
Providing training opportunities such as this is just another way the HRPDC leverages combined resources to assist Hampton Roads jurisdictions efficiently meet federal and state requirements.