Hazardous Materials Accident Report

Adopted: March 19, 1985
RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS WASTE ACID
FROM CARGO TANK TRUCK
ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA
March 6, 1984

NTSB Number: HZM-85/01
NTIS Number: PB85-917003


SYNOPSIS

About 1:30 p.m., e.s.t. on March 6, 1984, orange colored vapors began escaping from an MC-307/312 cargo tank containing 3,200 gallons of mixed hazardous waste acids while it was parked at a truck dealership in Orange County, Florida. The volume of vapors Increased as the acids rapidly corroded the cargo tank's stainless steel shell. At 5:39 p.m., the acids penetrated the cargo tank's shell and flowed onto the ground. About 250 persons were evacuated from a 3-square-mile area. Twelve persons who came in contact with the vapors were injured, four seriously. The cargo tank was destroyed.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the shipper's failure to specify a cargo tank constructed of materials compatible with the hazardous waste acids to be shipped, which resulted in a severe corrosive reaction and disintegration of the cargo tank shell. Contributing to the accident was the carrier's failure to make a positive identification of the material to be transported when it selected the cargo tank, the carrier's failure to provide information to the driver sufficient for him to assure that the load was the material which the carrier expected to be transported, and the lack of information available to the emergency response personnel from shipping papers, the shipper, and the carrier about the composition and hazards of the waste material.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As a result of its investigation, the Safety Board reiterated Safety Recommendation I-83-2 to the Research and Special Programs Administration:

Determine, by mode of transportation, the feasibility of requiring comprehensive product-specific emergency response information, such as Materials Safety Data Sheets, to be appended to shipping documents for hazardous materials transported In bulk quantities, giving particular attention to the early emergency response problems posed by n.os. commodities in transit. For those modes of transportation for which a positive determination results, Incorporate necessary requirements into Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. (Class 11, Priority Action)

Also, the Safety Board made the following recommendations:

--to Harris Corporation:

Establish procedures to determine safe and proper packaging for shipments of hazardous waste which assure that the materials shipped are compatible with the materials of construction of the packaging during transportation. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-2)

Revise operational procedures for shipping hazardous waste to assure compliance with Department of Transportation regulations. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-3)

Enter Information on shipping papers to better inform emergency response personnel about the composition and hazards of the waste material being shipped, as permitted by Title 49 CPR 172.202,, and include action that can be taken to neutralize the material and mitigate Its hazards. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-4)

--to Chemical Waste Management, Inc.:

Evaluate company operational procedures and revise them, as necessary to require that vital information necessary for the safe transportation of hazardous waste is obtained from the Oipper before equipment,, such as a cargo tank, is dispatched and that drivers' are given necessary Information and instructions to confirm' that the hazardous waste to be loaded conforms to the shipping order, and that proper loading procedures are followed. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-5)

Evaluate company training and Instruction procedures, and revise them, as necessary, to instruct drivers in the recognition of problems that may be incurred during transportation of hazardous wastes and In the notification of emergency response personnel. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-6)

--to Department of Transportation:

In conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, develop and distribute to hazardous waste shippers (generators) information regarding shipper responsibilities under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act when shipping hazardous wastes. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-7)

Increase audits of hazardous waste shippers and roadside inspections of carriers to improve compliance with the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-8)

--to Environmental Protection Agency:

In conjunction with the Department of Transportation, develop and distribute to hazardous waste shippers (generators) information regarding shipper responsibilities under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act when shipping hazardous wastes. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-9),

--to Research and Special Programs Administration

Determine the adequacy of ge neral shipping names on shipping papers for hazardous waste and the need for additional information, such as technical and chemical group names, to better inform emergency response personnel about the composition and hazards of the material being shipped. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-10)

Revise the hazardous materials regulations to clearly describe shipper responsibilities for performing a sufficient analysis to determine that materials shipped are compatible with the packaging materials to be used in transportation, and that particular emphasis is given to the uniques hazards that waste material may present. (Class II, Priority Action) (I-85-II)

-- to the National Tank Truck Carriers Inc., and the National Solid Waste Management Association:

Inform its members of the circumstances of the March 6, 1984, hazardous material accident in Orange County Florida, and urge them in light of the potential lack of compatibility of hazardous wastes with the materials used in the construction of cargo tanks to require that vital information necessary for the safe transportation of hazardous waste is obtained from the shipper before equipment, such as cargo tank, is dispatched and that drivers are given necessary information and instructions to confirm that the hazardous waste corresponds with the shipping order, and that proper loading procedures are followed. (ClassII, Priority Action) (H-85-12)