Hazmat in cave, question!

Caves and caving, beginning caving, joining the NSS, etc.

Moderator: Moderators

Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby rchrds » Aug 8, 2013 10:27 pm

Hello all! I have a question that needs some professional help. We are poised to survey a cave which has significant contamination- oil, chemicals, sewage, the whole lot. I am in need of a person who is trained in such things to make a recommendation on training and equipment based on the list of nasties. I'm not looking for help with the project, just someone who could tell me what sort of gear I should be wearing, where or what training I should get to wear that gear so we all don't die a cancerous death 10 years down the road. If this sounds like something you know about, please drop me an email, and I can give you the details (aside from the name and location of the cave.)

Thanks for the help!

Jason Richards
NSS 41539
j@rchrds.org
User avatar
rchrds
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Name: Jason Richards
NSS #: 41539
Primary Grotto Affiliation: None at the moment
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby cavedoc55 » Aug 10, 2013 4:14 pm

Loaded question...
Most fire departments have training in HazMat, but their techniques may not be suitable to caving.
Contact Jim Werker of Conservation section or Anmar Mirza of NCRC. They may be able to give direction of where to look.
cavedoc55
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 51
Joined: May 16, 2007 6:36 am
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby Scott Shaw » Aug 10, 2013 6:37 pm

Ask Maureen Handler from the Sewanee Mtn. Grotto. I think she deals with haz mats on a regular basis as part of her job. As a caver she may have some unique insight on your situation.
Scott Shaw
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 8:48 am
NSS #: 30571
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Alabama Cave Survey
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby rchrds » Aug 10, 2013 11:02 pm

This is way beyond Maureen's experience, but thanks for the suggestion. It's looking like this may be closer to a cave dive than a dry cave, with the amount of PPE.
User avatar
rchrds
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Name: Jason Richards
NSS #: 41539
Primary Grotto Affiliation: None at the moment
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby NZcaver » Aug 11, 2013 5:17 am

Try Anmar (aka shibumi).
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6316
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: CCG
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby maek » Aug 11, 2013 6:59 pm

I believe Maureen and associates have completed OSHA HAZWOPER-40 training, intended for industrial/commercial settings. Disposable PVC suits are certainly not going to hold up to a cave environment and respirators can't be enjoyable in a cave survey. May I inquire as to why you want to go to this cave? Do you have a list of specific contaminates and dates of last lab testing? Is this part of the remediation process? Are you in contact with state environmental protection specialists (assuming you are surveying in the US), especially in groundwater/water supply or remediation or hazardous waste?
maek
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 93
Joined: Jun 9, 2007 6:45 am
NSS #: 58228
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Team Poseidon
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby bigredfoote » Aug 11, 2013 10:23 pm

I think you will have a hard time finding a professional to give you free advice with the liability involved.

Jen
bigredfoote
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Apr 29, 2008 9:32 pm
NSS #: 45211
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Pajarito
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby rchrds » Aug 11, 2013 10:40 pm

maek wrote:I believe Maureen and associates have completed OSHA HAZWOPER-40 training, intended for industrial/commercial settings. Disposable PVC suits are certainly not going to hold up to a cave environment and respirators can't be enjoyable in a cave survey. May I inquire as to why you want to go to this cave? Do you have a list of specific contaminates and dates of last lab testing? Is this part of the remediation process? Are you in contact with state environmental protection specialists (assuming you are surveying in the US), especially in groundwater/water supply or remediation or hazardous waste?


Yea, it's looking like we will have to take the same training. The disposable suits will hold up, if you wear kneepad/elbowpads/shorts over them- and replace the suit daily. Respirators (forced air) do suck to survey in, but that's how it is. We have been asked to survey the cave by the government- and are attempting to do it in the safest way possible. We do have a list of contaminants and dates. It is the step prior to remediation, there are no state EPAs involved (not in the US.) The training, as I understand it, provides the practical use and procedures for PPE- not necessarily the determination of types of PPE based on specific contaminants, hence my question.

Jason
User avatar
rchrds
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Name: Jason Richards
NSS #: 41539
Primary Grotto Affiliation: None at the moment
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby rjack » Aug 12, 2013 10:30 am

What country is this actually in??
If you email me a list of the contaminants and whether the sampling was air, water or soil, I might be able to offer some suggestions on what tools you need, both PPE and to avoid blowing yourselves up with explosive vapors. If you have actual sampling results send those too.

The 40 hour HAZWOPER courses are ok, but are predicated on having an employer train you further on the specific hazards of the position/job. Obviously that's not going to happen here so it might not be as useful as you imagine.

Richard
rjack321@yahoo.com
rjack
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 11, 2010 11:35 am
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby ron_miller » Aug 14, 2013 10:42 am

Jason,

Sounds like you guys are on the right track by taking the OSHA HAZWOPER (29CFR 1910.120) 40-hour site worker course before undertaking survey work on what sounds like what the HAZWOPER standard defines as an uncontrolled hazardous waste site.

That said, if the US government wants the cave surveyed, and has paid to get environmental samples collected to assess the contaminants of concern (COCs) at the site, they also should be developing, or contracting out the development of, a site-specific Health and Safety Plan (HASP) as required under 1910.120(b) - specifically, 1910.120(b)(1)(ii)(C) - that will guide the selection of proper PPE for the specific tasks to be conducted, and will probably also call for real-time air monitoring if there are volatile or semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs and SVOCs) likely to be present in the atmosphere. Real time air monitoring may be important, as VOC/SVOC concentrations may change as you move through the cave; this could result in unexpectedly exceeding the protection factor of whatever type of respiratory protection your team is using.

Ron
Last edited by ron_miller on Aug 14, 2013 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ron_miller
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 235
Joined: Jan 5, 2007 6:24 pm
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby scrambler » Aug 14, 2013 12:01 pm

As many have suggested, contact Shibumi (Anmar). A few years back, he was asked to help survey in a cave that ran under a toxic waste landfill...
scrambler
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Jun 22, 2009 11:38 am
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby rjack » Jan 26, 2015 1:48 pm

Jason, did you ever get down there for this project? How did it go?
rjack
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 11, 2010 11:35 am
  

Re: Hazmat in cave, question!

Postby rchrds » Jan 26, 2015 7:33 pm

We did not get down there- my compatriots priced us well out of competition. Some friends of mine did, however, get to go down and take care of this project in a more reasonable fashion. It is likely on it's way to being covered up by a resort as we speak.
User avatar
rchrds
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 195
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 8:54 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Name: Jason Richards
NSS #: 41539
Primary Grotto Affiliation: None at the moment
  


Return to Caving General Discussion and Questions Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users