A natural inclination for many coastal residents is the desire to volunteer and help with the cleanup of oil spills that threaten the marine environment. Crude oil is a hazardous substance and spill responders don’t take handling it lightly.
Hazardous Materials Training for Oil Spill Volunteers
A person qualified at the technician level to respond to an oil spill response has competed a 24-hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) course and takes an 8-hour refresher class each year. There often are emergency courses like those offered by organizations like Prince William Sound Community College (Princewilliamsoundtraining.com) to potential responders following major spill incidents.
People willing to serve in oil spill cleanup operations as volunteers, once they become aware of an incident, are known as convergent volunteers. There are provisions in federal law [40 CFR 300 Part 185 (c)] that recognize the value of these volunteers and define how this group can be utilized during a spill emergency. Convergent volunteers are not likely to be used in physical oil removal or remedial activities without additional safety training, but are very useful in efforts like wildlife rehabilitation, placement of defensive boom or beach cleanup.
An Oil Spill Cleanup Volunteer’s Equipment Kit …