A hazardous material is any item or agent (biological, chemical, physical) that has the potential to cause harm to humans, animals, or the environment, either by itself or through interaction with other factors. Hazardous materials can be present in the form of gas, solid, or liquid. Environmental or atmospheric conditions can influence hazardous materials if they are uncontained.
A release or spill of bulk hazardous materials could result in fire, explosion, toxic cloud, or direct contamination of people or property. The effects may involve a local site or many square miles. Health problems may be immediate, such as corrosive effects on skin and lungs, or be gradual, such as the development of cancer from a carcinogen. Damage to property could range from immediate destruction by explosion to permanent contamination by a persistent hazardous material.
New businesses may increase the amount of hazardous materials coming into the region. However, industry is required to report any storage or handling of hazardous materials and comply with federal, state, and local laws governing storage, handling, and use of hazardous materials.
Sign-up for Alerts
Citizens can register for reverse telephone notification, called Code Red, as well as other notifications concerning alerts. To sign up, click on the “Regional Notification” link on the menu and follow the instructions.
To learn more about hazardous materials, visit the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), website here.