[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 141 (Friday, July 23, 2010)]
[Pages 43232-43233]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-18134]

[[Page 43232]]



Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[PHMSA-2010-0196; Notice No. 10-4]

Revisions of the Emergency Response Guidebook

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: This notice advises interested persons that the Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is soliciting 
comments on the development of the 2012 Emergency Response Guidebook 
(ERG2012), particularly from those who have experience using the 2008 
Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). The ERG is for use by emergency 
services personnel to provide guidance for initial response to 
hazardous materials incidents. The ERG2012 will supersede the ERG2008. 
The development of the ERG2012 is a joint effort involving the 
transportation agencies of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 21, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the docket number 
PHMSA-2010-0196 (Notice No. 10-4) by any of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
     FAX: (1-202)-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Operations, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Routing 
Symbol M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: To Docket Operations; Room W12-140 on the 
ground floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
Washington, DC 20590-0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number PHMSA-2010-0196 (Notice No. 10-4) for this notice. Note 
that all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents and 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or Room 
W12-140, Ground Level, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Suzette Paes, Office of Hazardous 
Materials Initiatives and Training (PHH-50), Pipeline and Hazardous 
Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. Telephone number: (202) 366-4900, e-mail: 
[email protected].


A. Background and Purpose

    The Federal hazardous materials transportation law, 49 U.S.C. 5101 
et seq., authorizes the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to 
issue and enforce regulations deemed necessary to ensure the safe 
transport of hazardous materials in commerce. In addition, the law 
directs the Secretary to provide law enforcement and fire-fighting 
personnel with technical information and advice for responding to 
emergencies involving the transportation of hazardous materials.
    PHMSA developed the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) for use by 
emergency services personnel to provide guidance for initial response 
to hazardous materials incidents. Since 1980, it has been the goal of 
PHMSA that all public emergency response vehicles (fire-fighting, 
police, and rescue squads) will carry a copy of the ERG. To date and 
without charge, PHMSA has distributed more than 11 million copies of 
the ERG to emergency service agencies. Since 1996, the Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Transport Canada, 
and the Secretary of Communication and Transport of Mexico have 
developed the ERG as a joint effort. The ERG2012 will supersede the 
ERG2008 and will be published in English, French, and Spanish.
    Publication of the ERG2012 will increase public safety by providing 
consistent emergency response procedures for hazardous materials 
incidents in North America. To continually improve the ERG, PHMSA is 
publishing this notice to actively solicit comments from interested 
parties on their experiences using the ERG2008 and on ways the ERG 
could be modified or improved.

B. Emergency Response Guidebook Questions:

    To assist in the gathering of information, PHMSA solicits comments 
on ERG user concerns, experiences using the ERG2008, and on the 
following questions. We are also interested in any other comments 
stakeholders and users wish to provide.
    1. In what way(s) does the ERG achieve its purpose to aid first 
responders in quickly identifying the specific or generic hazards of 
the materials(s) involved in the incident, and protecting themselves 
and the general public during the initial response phase of the 
    2. How can the ERG be made more user-friendly for emergency 
responders? Please provide examples.
    3. In what way(s) can the pictures, pictograms, and symbols shown 
in the ERG be used more effectively and efficiently?
    4. What format(s) of the ERG are being used (hardcopy, electronic, 
on-line, etc.) and why?
    5. How often is the ERG used in a hazmat emergency?
    6. Is the most useful information emphasized effectively in the 
ERG2008 for its intended purpose?
    7. How could the ERG be enhanced to better assist with go/no-go 
decision making while staying focused on its stated purpose? Please 
provide examples.
    8. Have users experienced inconsistent guidance between utilizing 
the ERG and other sources of technical information? How could these 
inconsistencies be reconciled?
    9. Are there ways the White Pages could be improved or enhanced? 
For example:
     How could or should sections of the ERG be combined or 
merged? Please explain and provide examples.
     What additional identification charts should be added, if 
any? What other subject matter should be addressed?
     Is the information provided in the Table of Placards, Rail 
Identification Chart and Road Trailer Identification Chart appropriate 
and correct? How could this information be made more useful and clear? 
Should other information be included or removed? If so, what 
     Could current charts, and the information provided by 
those charts, be formatted in a more effective manner? How could they 
be improved to be more easily read and used?
     How could the Protective Clothing section be improved or 
enhanced? What additional information could be included or removed?
     In what way(s) could the information provided on chemical, 
biological, and radiological differences be improved upon or enhanced? 

[[Page 43233]]

information could be included or removed?
     Are the terms listed in the Glossary appropriate and 
current? What additional terms should be added? What terms should be 
removed or changed?
     Are the sections of the White Pages in the appropriate 
sequence? If not, how should the information be organized?
    10. Have any identification numbers or material names been 
incorrectly assigned or cross-referenced to each other in the Yellow or 
Blue Pages of the ERG2008?
    11. In the Yellow or Blue Pages of the ERG2008, has any 
identification number and/or material name been assigned to an 
incorrect Guide number? If so, please note the identification number, 
material name, and the Guide number, and provide the correct 
information and reason for this change.
    12. Are the recommendations and responses provided in each of the 
Orange Guide Pages appropriate to the material it's assigned to? If 
not, please explain and recommend a correction.
    13. How could Table 1--``Initial Isolation and Protective Action 
Distances'' and Table 2--``Water Reactive Materials Which Produce Toxic 
Gases,'' or the Introduction and Description of each Table be modified 
or improved?
    14. When calling any of the Emergency Response Telephone Numbers 
listed in the ERG2008, have there been any experiences with a busy 
telephone line, disconnection, or no response?
    15. In terms of the usefulness of the ERG2008, has the type and 
quality of information been appropriate for the response needs? Please 
    16. Are there emergency response providers not shown in the ERG2008 
that have been used and found to be reliable that should be listed in 
the Emergency Response Telephone Numbers section? If so, who and why?
    In addition to the specific questions asked in this Notice, PHMSA 
is also interested in any supporting data and analyses that will 
enhance the value of the comments submitted.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 20, 2010 under the authority 
delegated in 49 CFR part 106.
R. Ryan Posten,
Senior Director for Hazardous Materials Safety.
[FR Doc. 2010-18134 Filed 7-22-10; 8:45 am]