How to Prepare for the Unexpected: Fires at Transfer Stations

The normal operation of a solid waste transfer station is accompanied with an element of fire risk. A multitude of heavy machinery handling different types of solid waste in varying weather conditions can result in this particular type of emergency. By preparing and implementing an emergency response plan at your facility, you can keep your employees safe and minimize damage to your property during a fire.

For transfer stations operating in New York State, an Emergency Response Plan is required to be prepared when applying for a facility permit in accordance with Part 360 Regulations. This plan will include contact information for emergency coordinators who are highly familiar with site operations and who will respond to the facility during emergencies. The Emergency Response Plan also outlines response procedures for not only fires, but for storm events, floods, chemical and petroleum spills, and more. All facility personnel must be familiar with this plan and trained to implement appropriate response actions if a fire or other emergency occurs.

If a fire involves a large waste pile or a structure, copious amounts of water will need to be applied in order to control the situation and to prevent rekindling. If the ground surface of the facility is impermeable (concrete or asphalt), this water will run into on-site drainage structures, or may run off site. Such runoff may be impacted with environmentally harmful materials, depending on what was on fire and what materials are handled at the transfer station. Additionally, runoff can lead to damaging erosion at the facility. An Erosion and Sediment Control Plan or Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan should be prepared for transfer stations to account for managing illicit discharges.

In order to best prepare for what can be a damaging, dangerous, and costly emergency, transfer station owners must plan for the worst. Walden is highly experienced at preparing Emergency Response Plans as well as Erosion and Sediment Control Plans. Contact Walden to see how we can help you protect your employees, property, and business.

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