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Hazardous Materials Flow Assessment Summary
by Les Benedict
Environment Division - St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

A hazardous materials flow assessment was conducted by OP-TECH Environmental Services, Inc. (OP-TECH) in the summer of 1996 for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT). The flow assessment was conducted to identify hazardous materials that enter or travel through and around the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation on the United States side, evaluate the types of risk the materials pose for the reservation and to assist the tribe in managing releases of these materials.

The assessment was conducted by obtaining information on the routes the materials travel, identifying what the materials are and the quantities. The study does not take into consideration the seasonal flow of material or the Canadian side of the reservation.

Highway assessments were conducted to determine the extent of hazardous materials traveling through the reservation on Route 37. Other assessments consisted of a gas station assessment, a U.S. Customs survey, highway observations by OP-TECH personnel, evaluations from the industries and other highway information.

Gas stations were surveyed primarily because of the large number of stations on the reservation. Approximately 15 stations were surveyed for the assessment. Phone conversations and visits were initiated to determine how often a station receives a shipment of gasoline and/or diesel fuel. The amount of gas and diesel delivered was not determined because the investigation primarily dealt with the probability of potential releases not with the amount of product delivered.

The Akwesasne area has the United States Customs located approximately one and one-half miles from the reservation. Almost all of the gasoline trucks that cross the border are expected to enter the reservation for deliveries. The potential exists for other tankers and trucks to pass into the reservation for fuel or as an access route to other destinations. The US Customs patrol has made hazardous materials vehicle observations and logged them through the month of June, 1996. The majority of the loads that were monitored during the survey were of sodium hypochlorite solutions (bleach).

OP-TECH has made highway observations on the reservation of hazardous placarded vehicles. This was conducted to determine the amount of placarded vehicles traveling through the reservation. The vehicle observations were made on the Western border of the reservations before the Raquette River bridge. The time of day, the placard identification number and if the vehicle was traveling west or east on Route 37 was logged. There was not a great deal of placarded vehicle traffic during the observations. The majority of the placarded trucks that were observed were gasoline tankers.

Department of Transportation (DOT) and New York State Police conducted truck inspections occurred in the Massena area from August 1995 to June 1996. The DOT conducts truck inspections to verify compliance with the DOT regulations with the assistance of the New York State Police as an enforcement agency for violators. The New York State Police can issue tickets for violations but the DOT cannot. Truck inspection logs were obtained and studied for information on placarded vehicles. Only placarded vehicles carrying hazardous materials were evaluated for this part of the assessment. The DOT classifications were identified but not the actual material(s).

A total of 14 placarded trucks were inspected, of these:

35.7%Class 8Corrosive
21.4%Class 2Gasses
14.3%Class 3Flammable
7.1%Class 9Miscellaneous
21.4%AllMixed Loads

This part of the study does not indicate the material or quantities but it does give an indication of the types of placarded material which may be in the area at one time.

An assessment of the three industries in the area was determined to verify if materials travelled near or through the reservation. Computer resources and industry contacts were used to obtain information.

The St. Lawrence River was assessed for hazardous materials travelling the river. It is located north of the SRMT (US side) where United States and international cargo ships and tankers haul various materials up-bound and down-bound, passing by the SRMT reservation. A 1994 Traffic Report from the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) was obtained for the assessment. Various types of cargo totaled 38,422,124 tons of material but was not specifically identified for hazardous substances. A request was made to the SLSDC for the hazardous material information and is contained in this assessment.

The Conrail railroad activity was also evaluated for the flow assessment. According to the Hazardous Materials Inspector for the northern area and local maps, the railroad does not move through the reservation. The railroad is located west of the reservation traveling south, and then splits to the northeast and west. The railroad northeastward travels west of Bombay, passing the reservation. The closest the railroad comes to the reservation is four-tenths (4/10) of a mile from the eastern border for approximately one and one-half miles and, on the western border, one half mile, east of Charles Foy Road, approximately one mile north of Bombay. Specific information on the chemicals that are carried by Conrail was not available at the time of this assessment. However, a list of representative chemicals was obtained as cargo from 1994.

The assessment is a living document, in that the material presented may change when new data is introduced. When areas or processes change to the extent that a section presented would be modified or change or delete a section. The Flow Assessment was conducted to identify and evaluate the materials traveling through and around the SRMT. The Flow Assessment should be reviewed periodically for continuity and/or changes based on the needs of the SRMT. Any future studies to verify or extend the information reported can be implemented into the document to enhance and keep the assessment current.

The community is invited to review the flow assessment and other documents associated with the survey conducted last year. The other documents are: SRMT Hazardous Materials Emergency Plan, Draft 1; SRMT Hazardous Materials Health & Safety Plan; and SRMT Hazardous Materials Flux Database.

For more information contact: St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, Environment Division, HMEP Program, RR #1, Box 8A, Community Building, Hogansburg, NY 13655, Phone 518-358-5937.