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Guide Chemical Safety and Climate Change Preparedness Resources for Businesses

This project provides businesses, manufacturing facilities, labs, and other users of hazardous materials with tools to prepare for severe weather events, comply with emergency planning requirements, and incorporate toxics use reduction into their emergency plans to avoid potential chemical releases or accidents. For more information, contact Tiffany Skogstrom at (617) 626-1086.

Table of Contents

How Climate Change Can Impact Your Company

This photo features the aftermath of the CAI / Arnel chemical plant explosion in Danvers, MA, 2006. Source: U.S. Chemical Safety Board.
CAI / Arnel Plant, Danvers, MA, 2006. Source: U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

Without proper planning, companies that use or store hazardous chemicals can unknowingly pose public health and environmental safety risks to communities when critical infrastructure is damaged due to the severe weather events associated with:

  • heat waves,
  • flooding,
  • intense storms,
  • blizzards or
  • power outages.

Infrastructure damage and power failure can result in:

  • forced downtime,
  • loss of productivity,
  • harm to workers,
  • harm to first responders, and
  • harm your surrounding community.

OTA's Map and Technical Assistance

Free and Confidential Technical Assistance

Your company can take advantage of OTA’s free and confidential technical assistance to reduce risks of severe weather-related industrial accidents.

OTA’s staff of chemists and engineers can provide a second set of eyes for:

  • chemical compatibility and storage,
  • waste reduction,
  • pollution prevention strategies, 
  • energy conservation strategies,
  • toxics use reduction as it relates to your company’s severe weather contingency plans.

Map of Massachusetts Toxics Users and Climate Vulnerability Factors

You can use OTA’s Map of Massachusetts Toxics Users and Climate Vulnerability Factors to see if your facility is at risk to floods, hurricanes, or near sensitive areas to assist you with contingency planning.

Map Instructions:

1. Type in an address into the search bar on the top right of the map.

2. Click on the "Layers" drop down menu to change the displayed information.

3. For assistance navigating or intepreting this map, contact OTA.

For more information, contact Tiffany Skogstrom, (617) 626-1086, Tiffany.Skogstrom@Mass.Gov

Additional Resources for OTA's Map and Technical Assistance

Business Emergency and Continuity Planning

Participate in Your Local or Regional Emergency Planning Committee (L/REPC)

Emergency Planning Committees are responsible for protecting their communities from incidents involving hazardous materials. This involves developing emergency response plans and educating the community about chemical facilities and the actions that could be taken if there is a chemical accident.

Facilities that use and store large quantities of chemical are expected to support and participate in L/REPC and to develop emergency response plans.

View the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know (EPCRA) Requirements

Massachusetts State Emergency Response Commission (SERC)

Local and Regional EPC Contact InformatioN (XLS)

OTA Chemical Safety & Climate Change Resiliency Curriculum and Training Materials

OTA and partnering Regional Planning Agency and industry experts held 7 statewide workshops between March and April of 2018. Businesses and Massachusetts facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals were invited to attend.

Workshop Presentations

OTA Resources & Climate Change Preparedness (Tiffany Skogstrom, OTA) (PDF)

Emergency Planning 101 (Todd Dresser, ESIS) (PDF)

Building Chemical Safety and Climate Resiliency Through Prevention and Adaptive Management (Cora Roelofs, ScD. CR Research/Consulting) (PDF)

Emergency Planning Regulatory Framework (Tom Estabrook, TNEC) (PDF)

Chemical Incident Response (David Coffey, TNEC) (PDF)

Workplace Safety Grants (Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents) (PDF)

Workshop Resources and Tools

FEMA Business Continuity Planning Resources

Facility Pre-Plan Template (DOCX)

Example ICP Mini Emergency Plan Summary (PDF)

HAZMAT Screening Tool (PDF)

ATSDR Acetone ToxFAQs Workshop Example (PDF)

NJ Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet Example (PDF)

NJ Quick Response Fact Sheet Example (PDF)

USEPA All Hazards Waste Management Planning Tool (PDF)

Descriptions of CAMEO Suite Programs (PDF)

Worker Safety Grants and Training Resources

TNEC at UMass Lowell

The New England Consortium-Civil Service Employee Association (TNEC-CSEA) is a worker health and safety training program based at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.  Climate change impacts are increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events and TNEC-CSEA has developed courses and curriculum that address post-storm recovery, clean up and resiliency. Programs can be offered on-site and at our training center for public agencies and private companies.

Massachusetts OSHA Consultation Program

The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) OSHA Consultation Program helps employers recognize and control potential safety and health hazards at their worksites, improve their safety and health program, and assist in training employees. It is a confidential service in which your firm's name, and any other information you provide and any unsafe or unhealthy working conditions found, will not be reported routinely to the OSHA inspection staff.

Workplace Safety Training Grants

The Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) offers Workplace Safety Training Grants to fun workplace safety training. The goal of this highly successful program is to promote safe and healthy conditions in the workplace through training, education, and other preventative programs.

Toxics Use Reduction Resources and Grants

Free Technical Assistance and Lab Services

OTA offers free and confidential assistance to all Massachusetts businesses where toxic chemicals are used or stored, or where there are opportunities for water or energy conservation. OTA’s staff of engineers and chemists can help your company be prepared for severe weather through toxics use reduction or simply storing or using your chemicals in a more efficient way.

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute's Cleaning Laboratory tests the performance of both industrial and janitorial cleaning products to encourage companies, institutions, and product formulators to choose and develop safer substitutes.

Toxics Use Reduction Grants

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) offers pollution prevention grants to Massachusetts businesses to help businesses reduce their use of toxic chemicals. 

Find information on TURI industry grants.

Find information of TURI small business grants.

Toxics Use Reduction Planning and Resource Conservation Training

TURI provides education and training for toxics use reduction, resource conservation, and environmental management systems. Take advantage of the many education and training sessions that will help your company reduce toxics and conserve resources.

Find information on TURI conferences, workshops and webinars.

Image credits:  Shutterstock