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July 24, 2018

Preparation is key, especially when it comes to hazard spill response. A select few USGS staff train in Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) each year.

On July 17-19, Dale Melton and Dave Piatt completed a 24-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They will act as the USGS Oregon Water Science Center hazardous spill responders for onsite laboratory incidents or for USGS response to local incidents in the community at large.


Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

The HAZWOPER applies to five distinct groups of employers and their employees1. This includes any employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances, including hazardous waste, and who are engaged in one of the following operations:

  • Clean-up operations conducted at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites
  • Corrective actions involving clean-up operations at sites
  • Voluntary clean-up operations at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites
  • Operations involving hazardous wastes that are conducted at treatment, storage, and disposal facilities
  • Emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances regardless of the location of the hazard