- Hazardous materials data from business and industrial chemical information and
incident databases were analyzed to study the types of chemicals located in Linn, Benton,
and Lincoln Counties, Oregon. Federal and Oregon Department of Transportation data
were analyzed to study traffic patterns and truck and railroad traffic levels. Results
indicate more than 2,000 chemical products are reported by businesses and industries in
the three counties, with about 1,000 hazardous ingredients. The primary hazard Classes
for these chemicals are flammable fuels, corrosives, and poisonous materials. Diesel,
heating fuel, gasoline, and related fuels comprised more than 50% of the materials
transported in the study area.
A Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to input industrial and business locations of hazardous materials, historic hazardous materials incidents, traffic densities, population centers, and traffic network intersections. These metrics were modeled as risk factors for potential hazardous materials transportation risks. For Benton County, these factors were combined with population density and critical facilities themes to provide the basis for overlay and proximity analysis for the purpose of facilitating emergency planning and to foster public awareness.
Located on the Interstate 5 corridor, Linn County uses and transports a greater variety of hazardous materials than Benton or Lincoln Counties. For example, fifty-one of fifty-five extremely hazardous substances found in the three county area were reported in Linn County, with 24 reported in Benton County, and 6 reported in Lincoln County.
Data from Oregon Department of Transportation were extracted to assess accident and traffic patterns and integrate these risk factors with hazardous materials information.
One federal and one state database reporting hazardous materials incidents were analyzed. Although traffic increased on study area roads more than 25% in the last decade, two hazardous materials incidents databases did not indicate an increasing number of emergency spill responses. The Oregon State Fire Marshall's incident database indicated an average of 34 per year between 1988-1997. Linn County averaged 18 per year during this time period, Benton County averaged 13, and Lincoln County averaged 3. Fuels were the primary chemical type responded to. The federal Hazardous Materials Information Reporting System database reported 40 incidents in the highway category and 11 railway incidents. Both types of incidents were dominated by corrosive materials in this database, which does not include fuels as defined hazardous materials.
Traffic data on the roads used for hazardous materials transport show much higher traffic densities near intersections with other major roadways and in urban areas. Incident reports followed this pattern, primarily occurring in the major cities and towns of the three counties. Estimated daily numbers of trucks carrying hazardous materials ranged from 6 per day on the coastal portion of Oregon 34, to almost 700 on the section of I-5/99E between Albany and the Linn-Marion County border. Rail data studied indicate the highest quantities of materials designated hazardous were also transported on the main north-south corridor of Linn County, implicating this central area in the three counties has the highest density of the risk factors studied.