I-84 Tractor/Trailer Rollover Emergency Response, CT

Weston responded to a rollover accident involving a tractor trailer carrying chemicals after-hours in blizzard conditions to provide air monitoring support to local, state, and federal response personnel because of the release of hazardous chemicals.

On February 13, 2017 at 12:20 a.m. Weston immediately responded to emergency air monitoring support needs at a vehicular accident in Connecticut involving a rolled over tractor trailer carrying a load of various chemicals. The tractor trailer was directly adjacent to several residential homes, so immediate air quality technical support was necessary.

New England was engulfed in blizzard conditions at this time. Weather and road conditions were very adverse, as it had been snowing for much of the previous afternoon and evening, and as Weston mobilized, it continued to snow heavily, with high winds, low temperatures, poor visibility, and minimally cleared roads. Weston personnel had to shovel out their personal vehicles and emergency response vehicles and obtain emergency response equipment, including air monitoring equipment (AreaRAEs and MultiRAE Pros).

Once on-site, Weston coordinated response efforts with EPA, the local Fire Department, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), and PRP contractors. The tractor trailer contained over 33,000 pounds of chemicals, including hydrofluoric acid, hydrogen peroxide, phosphoric acid, nitric acid, isopropanol, ammonia, and a combustible liquid (N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone). The PRP transferred the trailer contents to another vehicle.

At 6:45 a.m., Weston deployed four AreaRAE units equipped with various sensors: hydrogen sulfide (H2S), volatile organic compound (VOC), lower explosive limit (LEL), and ammonia (NH3) near the nearest residence approximately 500 feet from the tractor trailer and along Route I84. A second Weston response team provided relief to the first overnight team to maintain continuity of air monitoring support. Weston provided uninterrupted air monitoring, supported safe chemical transfer operations, documented residential occupant safety, and updated EPA continually until 6 p.m. the following day, when the highway was reopened and Weston demobilized from the site.