Policy: Hazardous Materials Response


The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures in the event of a hazardous materials release, spill or other emergency involving a hazardous material.


The Michigan State University Police Department (Department) is committed to ensure a safe environment on campus. Due to the complexity of hazardous materials response, it is the policy of this Department that these procedures for responding to such incidents shall be followed.


ContactMSU: Main information land-line for the University that can contact University departments for assistance or contact specific personnel.

East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD): provides hazardous material release response for the MSU East Lansing Campus and they maintain mutual aid agreements with other area fire agencies and will coordinate their deployment as necessary.

National Incident Management System: Overarching national system for managing large incidents or disasters that utilize a common-operating picture concept and common terminology, through the use of the Incident Command System (ICS). For further information, see ADM24.

ICS: Command and control system that is flexible to allow for expansion/contraction in an incident and follows national protocols for response and recovery

Incident Commander (IC): Person charged with command at an incident and follows the protocols established in the IICS.

Unified Command: an authority structure in which two or more individuals share the role of the IC.

HazMat-IC: Senior Fire Official at the scene in command of the inner perimeter.

Incident Command Post (ICP): A location staffed by the IC/UC where all incident operations, including direction, control, coordination, and resource management are directed.

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF): builds and maintains facilities and buildings incorporating the physical environment for MSU.

Emergency Action Teams (EAT)

Teams are located in each facility/building on campus, with members that are responsible to implement emergency plans at the building level.

They can assist by providing building specific information during an incident or event.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS): protects the environment, human health, and ensures a safe workplace for all persons at MSU.

University Communications-UC (formerly known as Communications and Brand Strategy-CABS): MSU’s central communication team responsible for media inquiries and public information dissemination.


Response Agency Responsibilities

Fire Department

Contiguous Campus

The defensive containment of released materials and offensive action to prevent their spread on the contiguous campus of Michigan State University at the scene of an emergency or disaster is the responsibility of ELFD.

ELFD maintains mutual aid agreements with other area fire agencies and hazardous material teams to coordinate their deployment, if necessary.

Assisting at the scene of an emergency as defined in hazardous material standards will be EHS.

EHS will also respond to the scene of non-emergency situations to assess protocols necessary to protect lives and property.

Uniform Division

Initial Response

Proceed to the scene quickly, but safely using emergency equipment based on policy (OPR05).

Size up the situation and establish ICP.

Report that size-up and ICP location to 9-1-1 Central Dispatch and provide the Duty Supervisor any information required.

Be prepared to receive information from the Emergency Action Team (EAT) Leader regarding missing persons or other circumstances and provide that to the ICP.

Establish traffic and crowd control at the scene and initiate perimeter control.

Follow-Up Duties

Act as the IC until relieved by taking appropriate actions, as required.

Obtain information and complete an incident report, if necessary. Incident reports will usually be written under the following circumstances:

There is damage or injury as a result of the incident

A crime is known or suspected

Any unusual circumstances that are involved requiring documentation

Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Response Agency

The senior fire official at the scene is the HazMat IC, in command of the inner perimeter (Hot and Warm Zones), including associated structures.

The IC may choose to order an evacuation of all or part of the inner perimeter, adjacent areas and structures, areas threatened by the spread of the incident; expand or contract the inner and/or outer perimeters; and/or direct that particular traffic, crowd control, and entry/exit measures be taken.

The Duty Supervisor shall take all actions necessary to accomplish such directives.

Other university property in the Lansing/East Lansing area will be serviced by the appropriate fire agency of jurisdiction.

At sites away from the contiguous campus, the Duty Supervisor will assist response agencies by performing the following:

Securing the assistance of EHS

Liaisoning with other jurisdiction departments and persons

For large scale events or when the immediate resource needs are depleted, the IC may request that the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) be activated, as outlined in ADM24 and the MSU Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).


Responsible for the technical response and clean-up of spills and/or releases occurring within University facilities and grounds, as defined by current operating procedures and hazardous materials regulations.

In that role, EHS may request assistance from this Department and other agencies, if needed.

EHS or HazMat IC may choose to direct an evacuation of all or part of the inner perimeter, adjacent areas and structures, areas threatened by the spread of the incident; expand or contract the inner and/or outer perimeters; and/or direct that particular traffic, crowd control, and entry/exit measures be taken.

The Duty Supervisor will take all actions necessary to accomplish such directives.

Maintains a qualified staff of technicians and associated equipment.

Technicians participate in, provide technical assistance to, and support the operations of ELFD and any hazardous materials response teams.

Will respond to hazardous materials incidents in accordance with the current local, state and national laws and regulations governing procedures and operation of equipment and vehicles.

Will oversee the clean-up of the affected area(s)

Will utilize their own personnel and/or on-call private contractors

Determine what financial procedures related to the incident will be used and coordinate that through the appropriate University offices.

Department IC

Insure that the ICP is established, Unified Command is implemented and that necessary support functions are staffed.

Inspect and supervise the scene as necessary.

Contact the Department’s assigned Emergency Management Coordinator, who will then notify the Ingham County Emergency Manager and the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, District One Coordinator, if necessary.

Insure that proper notifications are made pursuant to ADM02.

Isolate the spill/release site and ensure personnel keep upwind of smoke, fumes and dust.

Establish an outer perimeter

Establish an inner perimeter

Do not attempt rescue

All rescue and entry will be performed by those personnel that are trained and equipped for such operations.

Advise the HazMat IC about the location of needed rescue operations

Identify and detain persons who may have been contaminated by the release or spill under appropriate legal guidelines.

Establish isolation points to prevent contact with such persons and non-contaminated individuals.

The University Physician can consult with the Ingham County Public Health Director, the local emergency room physician and the Ingham County Medical Control Authority to assist with obtaining the proper medical treatment.

Establish a Base Station and Staging Area, traffic routes and entrance/exit points for emergency and response vehicles.

The Base Station is set up outside of the outer perimeter; and out of view of the incident.

Staging Area(s) are set up in the outer perimeter

Assist IC/UC in establishing an on-scene triage and/or medical treatment center if requested.

Sick or injured must be transported using proper decontamination procedures.

Coordinate with the HazMat and EMS Command.

Provide security for triage, medical treatment, response equipment and personnel.

Establish the public information function notifying UC and the Department’s Public Information Officer (PIO).

Warn the public as required under ADM17.

Implement evacuation and/or sheltering procedures as appropriate to the situation.

Send personnel to key locations to facilitate re-routing of traffic.

Give evacuees destinations and crosswind routes to avoid the spill area and plume zones.

Use all available personnel and assisting agencies and departments as needed.

Identify victims utilizing current medical mass casualty protocols, notify the EOC of their names, and establish victim property procedures.

Coordinate with ELFD and appropriate personnel to insure the completion of the hazardous materials release investigation.

If the incident involves the smell or suspected involvement of natural gas, notifications will be made to IPF, Consumer’s Energy and EHS.

If the incident takes place in a University Apartment complex or apartment, advise Residential and Hospitality Services personnel.

Do not reopen affected buildings until they have been cleared for re-opening by EHS and ELFD.

Do not open the perimeter points to allow re-entry to the area or facilities until EHS advises that the area and facility (ies) as cleared.

Coordinate the maintenance and resetting of fire alarm and other safety systems.

Cadet Information Desk

Notify ContactMSU in all incidents, whether on the contiguous campus or not.

Call University personnel to assist at the scene, as directed by the IC/UC, Duty Supervisor or officer assigned.

Notify the Department’s assigned Emergency Management Coordinator, if directed by the IC/UC or Duty Supervisor.

These actions are usually taken if there is a serious emergency, more than minor damage, or if a crime is suspected.

Resetting of Fire Alarm and/or Sprinkler Systems

Business Hours

During normal business hours, an electrician will reset any fire alarms.

Non-Business Hours

During non-business hours, ContactMSU will request call-back for an electrician to reset fire alarms.

If building personnel are able to reset fire alarms, they should be allowed to do so.

Alarms should not be allowed to ring for excessive amounts of time in locations that house animals for research and/or client-owned animals.