Environmental Health & Safety

Hazardous Materials Management (HMM)

In Case of Emergencies

If you need emergency help for personal injury or a chemical spill which threatens personal safety, CALL 911 from your cell phone, or 9-911 from a campus phone.  Your calls are forwarded to the LaPlata County Emergency Operations Center, who will then notify the Fort Lewis College Police Department, Durango Fire Protection District (DFPD)or the Durango Haz Mat team.

Following the first call, if you need assistance in regards to managing the chemical spill, call Terry Richardson, Environmental Health & Safety at 247-7272.  His office is located in the Education Business Hall, Room 227.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hazardous Materials or Hazardous Wastes at Fort Lewis

What do I do about a spilled chemical? It depends.  If someone is injured or could be injured CALL 911 from your cell phone, or 9-911 from a campus phone.  If the spill is equal or exceeds several gallons of flammable liquid, or appears to be dangerous, CALL 911 from your cell phone or 9-911 from a campus phone.

Which materials, chemicals or wastes are hazardous? Read the label on the container and review the corresponding safety data sheets (SDS's). Look for the following:

  • Flammable Liquids:  includes mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, acetone, fuels, oil-based paints, organic solvents.  If it smells of gasoline or oil-based paint, you should assume it is a hazardous material or waste.
  • Materials that are highly acidic or basic (caustic)
  • Any material emitting a gas (bubbling, evaporating rapidly, strong odor)
  • Anything containing a heavy metal, such as lead, chromium, mercury, barium, silver, cadmium, arsenic or selenium. Anything containing cyanide or fluoride.
  • Pesticides of any sort.
  • Anything described as a possible carcinogen.
  • Anything list as explosive or reactive.
  • Anything whose label says not to discard into the trash, or, lists any specific danger or hazard.
  • Any unidentified material that seems out of context or of  a mysterious nature.

Remember, if you must evacuate a building or area of campus, be sure to travel upwind and uphill if necessary. A safe distance is at least 500 feet away from the incident.

For Hazardous Materials Assistance

Call Terry Richardson, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, at 970-247-7272 and leave a message with a phone number. Terry checks voicemail at least once every 24 hours and will respond by phone. His office is located in EBH 230.