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California State University, Long Beach
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Hazardous Materials Incidents

Hazardous Materials incidents may occur on the CSU Long Beach campus for a variety of reasons.  There are hazardous materials stored in various areas on campus, vehicles carrying hazardous materials frequently travel on or about the university campus, businesses operating near the campus generate hazardous materials, and hazardous materials may be released into the atmosphere intentionally.  The following procedures should be followed in the event of a hazardous materials incident.

Campus Community

Incident Involving Known Material

If there is a hazardous materials spill or incident involving a material you are familiar with you should:

Determine if the spill will cause an immediate threat to individuals in the area.

Where appropriate consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for information on precautions and health concerns for the substance.

Evacuate the area and deny entry if there is a threat.

Where able render first aid to any injured persons

During normal business hours contact the Office of Safety and Risk Management at (562) 985-2283 and report the spill.

During off hours and weekends or when persons are injured report the incident to the University Police at 9-1-1.

If evacuation of a building or area is necessary then you should:

  • Move crosswind to avoid the fumes.
  • NEVER MOVE DOWNWIND OF A SPILL
  • Follow the directions of the Building Marshals
  • Faculty should maintain class integrity whenever possible.  This allows for an accounting of missing persons.  Anyone not accounted for should be reported as missing to emergency responders.

Meet with Emergency Responders from University Police or Safety Risk Management; provide responders with a description of what occurred any injured persons, and/or the MSDS for the substance.

INCIDENT INVOLVING UNKNOWN MATERIAL

If there is a hazardous materials spill or incident involving a material you are UNFAMILIAR with you should:

Evacuate the area IMMEDIATELY

  • Move crosswind to avoid the fumes.
  • NEVER MOVE DOWNWIND OF A SPILL
  • Follow the directions of the Building Marshals
  • Faculty should maintain class integrity whenever possible.  This allows for an accounting of missing persons.  Anyone not accounted for should be reported as missing to emergency responders.

Close the area off and deny entry to anyone but emergency responders.

Notify the University Police at 9-1-1

  • Meet with arriving responders from the University Police and Office of Safety and Risk Management.  Provide responders with a description of what occurred, and any injured persons

University Administration / University Police

The University Police Dispatcher will notify personnel from Office of Safety and Risk Management when any hazardous material or other suspicious spill is reported.

Where necessary the Office of Safety and Risk Management will consider activating the CSU Long Beach Campus Hazardous Materials Response Team to assist in managing the incident.

University emergency responders will utilize the CSU Long Beach Hazardous Materials Contingency Plan when responding to any release of hazardous material to the air, water, soil, or campus facility.  For details on the Contingency Plan contact the Office of Safety and Risk Management at (562) 985-2283.

In accordance with the Standardized Emergency Management System and the National Incident Management System the University Police shall maintain Incident Command for any response effort led by University personnel or contractors.  If the Long Beach Fire Department or the Los Angeles County Fire Department is requested to respond to the incident, then Incident Command may be transitioned over to the responding Fire agency. 

When either the scope of the incident or the necessary level of personal protective equipment needed to safely respond to the incident exceeds the level of the CSU Long Beach campus responders, the University Police Incident Commander shall request aid from either the City of Long Beach Fire Department, the County of Los Angeles Fire Department, or the University approved Hazardous Materials Response contractor.

Based on the response needs the Incident Commander will request the University Police Chief, or his/her designee, to institute a mutual aid request to any necessary response organization needed to assist in the response effort.  This may include, but is not limited to:

  • The City of Long Beach
  • The County of Los Angeles 
  • State and Federal Agencies
  • The CSU Critical Response Unit
  • Other CSU campuses
  • Volunteer Agencies which specialize in disaster response

Based on the nature of the hazardous material the Incident Commander will determine whether to evacuate campus buildings/areas or institute a shelter in place response.  If ordered, all evacuations will be mandatory.  See the following section for more information on sheltering in place.

The University Public Affairs Office will coordinate the release of information regarding the hazardous material and its effects with the Office of Safety and Risk Management, Student Health Center, and/or Long Beach Health Department.

The Office of Safety and Risk Management shall be responsible for any mandatory hazardous materials release notifications to Local, State, or Federal agencies.

Shelter in Place

At times during either a disaster or emergency response it may be safer for people to remain inside until the incident has been mitigated.  Due, in part, to their construction and air management systems buildings may provide better protection against exposure particularly in the initial stages of an outdoors hazardous material release. 

When sheltering in place, remain inside close all windows and doors, wedging cloth or other suitable material under door jam to reduce ventilation.  In the event the University orders a shelter in place operation emergency responders will coordinate with Facilities Management to shut off of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems to the affected areas.
In the event a shelter in place order is given members of the campus community are asked to remain inside until the “all clear” order is given by emergency responders.

Return to Normal Operations

If the incident has resulted in the evacuation of part or all of a campus building(s) then those areas will remain closed until the University determines:

  • The area is safe to occupy
  • All immediate police and rescue activity has been completed.
  • Any and all investigations has been completed.
  • There is no longer a need to keep the area closed.

NOTE:  Due to the complexities involved in the preservation, collection, and investigation of evidence some areas may remain closed longer than others