Hazardous Materials Management

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 & Rescue Department 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 material safety data sheets (MSDS). 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.