HAZARDOUS MATERIALS GUIDANCE MANUAL  


The City of Laredo’s Hazardous Materials Ordinance, and various US Department of Transportation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, US EPA, and State of Texas regulations have been included in this document in paraphrased or shortened format.  The intent is to present the regulatory requirement more concisely, more clearly, or in more easily understood language. 

Every attempt has been made to not change the meaning of the Ordinance or a regulation.  Nevertheless, it must be understood that the existing City of Laredo Hazardous Materials Ordinance, and the Federal or State of Texas regulations in their current final rule form, are the legal requirements that must be met. 

The City of Laredo, the authors of this Guidance Manual, and/or agents of either disclaim any liability for the failure of a user of this document to comply with the Ordinance or any of the aforementioned regulations.



With the implementation of the NAFTA agreement, the City of Laredo is the largest inland port in the United States.  The substantial increase in commodity flow into and out of Mexico, and points south, includes a large increase in the amount of hazardous materials flowing into and through the City.  The concurrent growth in hazardous materials transportation and support operations has significantly increased the threat which these materials pose to the citizens of Laredo, to their property and to the environment.

The potential threats from improper management or accidents involving hazardous materials are significant.  They include the release of toxic gases or vapors that would endanger workers and, in extreme cases, residents of the city; fires or explosions that could affect both people and property; and spills involving poisonous or corrosive materials that could affect people and property either on an immediate basis, or on a long term fashion after entering the environment.  For operations in which hazardous materials are handled, transported  or stored, it is essential that both employers and employees be able to respond quickly and properly to any release or potential release of a hazardous material.

In recognition of this increased threat, the City of Laredo has approved a Hazardous Materials Ordinance which creates and adopts the new “Chapter 33, Environmental Protection”.  This new “Chapter 33" defines measures that are aimed at protecting  the health, safety, welfare, resources, and property of the general public through the prevention and control of unauthorized discharges of hazardous materials.  The ordinance is also intended to ensure the suitable and secure storage of hazardous materials in the City, and to provide for increased protection and safety for City emergency response personnel in situations where hazardous materials are involved.  (33-16.1)


The City Council has delegated the implementation, management and enforcement of the new “Chapter 33" to the City of Laredo Fire Department. 

The City Council has also created and established a Citizen’s Environmental Committee (CEC) to consult with City staff and advise the City Council, the Fire Chief and City staff on  environmental issues, including ways to minimize the danger that transportation and storage of hazardous materials pose to the citizens of Laredo. 

The CEC also rules on appeals by persons dissatisfied with the City Fire Department actions or decisions related to hazardous materials storage or handling permits.


The new “Chapter 33" establishes a permit system applicable to those persons or entities who store or handle hazardous materials.  This permit system provides the mechanism to effectively manage hazardous materials  in the City of Laredo.  The key features of this permit system are: the hazardous materials management plan, the hazardous materials inventory statement, the emergency response plan and the  employee training plan.


Hazardous Materials Management Plan (HMMP): 33-18.16A.9

The Hazardous Materials Management Plan is a written plan which must be filed with the permit application for long term storage facilities; the HMMP must demonstrate the safe storage and handling of hazardous materials in the storage facility.  The HMMP may be amended at any time, with the consent of the Fire Department, to keep the plan current.

Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement (HMIS): 33-18.16A.13

All long term storage facilities must have a current hazardous materials inventory statement (HMIS) which must be filed with the permit application (excepting a long term minimal storage facilities, which may contain a limited amount of hazardous materials or mixtures containing hazardous materials). The HMIS must include the hazardous material identification, the amount being handled, how and where the hazardous materials are handled, and the name of the permittee representative who is able to assist emergency personnel in the event of an emergency involving the long term storage facility during non-business hours.

Emergency Response Planning: 33-18.16A.11   

All long term storage facilities, except long term minimal storage facilities, which contain hazardous materials or mixtures containing hazardous materials in a quantity greater than that allowed in long term minimal storage, shall establish and implement a current written emergency response plan (ERP) which must be filed with the permit application.  The ERP must demonstrate safe emergency response to a release or threatened release of a hazardous material and a description of evacuation plans and procedures for persons at the long  term storage facility.

Employee Training: 33-18.16A.12;

All employees must be trained annually and by refresher courses by the permit applicant if the employee will be working at a permitted long term or short term storage facility.   The employee training shall at least include the content of the emergency response plan, safety procedures to be utilized in the event of a release or threatened release of a hazardous material, and other workplace safety training as required by OSHA, U.S. DOT and U.S. EPA. 


The purpose of this guidance manual is to convey to members of the regulated community, in simple and straightforward terms, how they are to implement this new Hazardous Materials Ordinance and by certain related State of Texas and Federal regulations.