An incident is any event that could lead to loss of, or disruption to, an organization's operations, services or functions and in today’s world, the risks and consequences of an incident are higher than ever. Luckily, the scientists and engineers at Antea Group have been responding to hazardous material releases since 1986, limiting disruption, mitigating risk, and returning affected assets to normal operation. Our AIM incident management solution is a recognition of clients’ increasingly complex needs, offering support in transitioning a situation from initial emergency response into a more proactive and data-driven long-term plan for resolution.
First Do No Harm
The purpose of incident management is first and foremost to prevent harm to human health and the environment in the event of a release of a hazardous material, with the secondary focus being to effectively mitigate impacts and allow incident closure. These correspond to the two broad phases of response: (1) site stabilization and normalization and (2) long-term or routine investigation and remediation. The site stabilization (or emergency response) phase addresses the immediate concerns associated with the release including stopping the release, containing and recovering spilled material, and eliminating immediate risks to people and the site. The second phase aims to eliminate long-term risks and obtain incident closure.
Transition is Key
Antea Group has found that an effective transition into routine investigation and remediation leads to reduced lifecycle costs and decreased time to closure. Our deep experience managing through this handoff has identified several keys to a successful transition:
- Start the site investigation early, within the first few days of the response. Understanding a spill site’s topography, geology, and hydrogeology is critical to understanding the potential risks posed by the spill and guides the tactics and strategies employed to mitigate these risks.
- Engage with the regulatory authorities. Developing an understanding of the regulatory closure requirements will drive both the investigation and remediation of a spill and helps avoid spending time and money on pathways that don’t lead to site closure.
- Develop the site conceptual model. Created using the information derived from the investigation and regulatory engagement, a site conceptual model is a critical tool used to identify sources, receptors, and pathways associated with the release. Development of the site conceptual model is an iterative process and should be reassessed as investigation data is developed.
By preparing for a smooth and clean transition, organizations move from reacting to unknown circumstances to proactively managing their site and process to closure.
From Data to Dollars
The benefits of driving an incident through the emergency response phase to a more routine investigation and remediation are reduced costs, realized by:
- Having AIM teams replace the emergency responder or oil spill response organization to complete site monitoring and overall response at lower rates.
- Early development of an accurate site conceptual model to prevent strategic or tactical errors requiring additional effort to correct.
- Leveraging AIM teams’ familiarity with the local regulatory requirements, allowing development of a much more cost-effective closure pathway.
Incident costs also become more stable and predictable, aiding in planning and budgeting. A solid transition allows more responsive planning and less uncertainty about the required clean-up goals that will allow regulatory site closure.
Our AIM teams understand the balance between the need for rapid decisions and the need to have comprehensive site data available to guide those decisions. Antea Group employs an array of site investigation tools that provide immediate data for analysis in our data visualization tools, allowing our teams to quickly and accurately understand site conditions. These tools, coupled with over 30 years of experience, allows our teams to quickly and effectively drive an incident from a reactive emergency response to a proactive investigation, remediation, and site closure.
I will be presenting on “Strategies for Long-Term Incident Management” at the upcoming ILTA International Operating Conference & Trade Show in Houston and will be at booth 300 in the exhibit hall, so please come by to say hello.
Read about Antea Group’s approach to incident management, or contact us to discuss planning in advance for your organization’s needs.
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