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Hazard Mitigation for Anniston Army Depot

Anniston Army Depot (ANAD), located at in Anniston, Alabama, USA, is the primary and well-known storage of the US Defense for chemical weapons. Its main mission is to repair all pathway vehicles of the armed forces except of the Bradley. Specifically, it is where the M1 and Abrams track are exclusively refurbished (GlobalSecurity. org 2007). Situated in the Applichian foothills, ANAD is the main building for the defense to repair heavy-tracked vehicle being used in combats. Moreover, it also repairs and maintains all individual and crew-served weapons and land missile.

Also, as a part of its significant mission for the defense, ANAD is the primary maintenance and storage of all ammunitions and missiles. However, their continued operations also pose threats to public health especially its surrounding. In addition, a certain accident could happen and may result in the escape of some hazardous chemical from its boundary towards civilian population which is health threats (Hammond, Earnest et al. 2004). This research paper will tackle ANAD mitigation hazards, its contingency plans in case of emergency as well its emergency response plan for the ANAD and its locality.

It will build up information and methodology for recognizing and planning of disaster zone and protective action strategies from the anticipated hazards that may be released from the ANAD chemical stockpile and disposal as well as associated external events, natural features, and distribution of the population and resources in case of accident release. Hazards Hazard is one of the factors affecting the range of consequences of an accident. The Planning and the stockpile disposal program of the ANAD is one of the methodology proposed to analyze risk probabilities and it identifies the possible range of accidents.

It mainly focuses with accidents of large consequences, large probability of occurrence and accidents due to deliberate action of terrorism or sabotage. Although the analysis of risks does not really identify all possible accidents that may happen, it can identify the range of possible occurrence of accidents which will provide bases for the formulation of the setting up basis accidents of several events such as stockroom accidents, shipping accidents, handling accidents and plant undertaking accidents. These accidents are due to the occurrence of external events such as earthquakes or even human errors (Schwab, Eschelbach et al.

2007). In case of accident, chemical agent may be released in several different means. The type of discharge determines the approximate quantity of agent available that can be transferred from one place to another downwind. Types of release may be in the form of explosion or detonation, fires, spills or combined process resulting in complex and more hazardous. However, release can happen in just a second or in long duration resulting in a plume extending downwind in long interval of time. Another aspect of the discharge type is the height.

Height of explosion is affected by the agent coining out of a stack against that have occurred in ground-level or may be elevated due to atmosphere explosion. Fire elevates the explosion because of its buoyancy that lifts it up. Unlike occurred in the ground level, explosion in the air is expected to travel downwind faster. Meteorological Conditions Another factor that affects the distribution of the chemical agent is the meteorological conditions along with topography and the kind of release. Wind direction establishes upwind and downwind direction but not the dispersion process.

Wind speed and atmospheric stability are the major determinants of the agent dispersion. Considering metrological factors that are incorporated includes air heating/cooling and mechanical stirring which are the main determinants of stability or the quantity of mixing. When the atmosphere is more stable, there is a little mixing occurs and narrower plumes results. Topography Topography also influences the distribution agents in two considerable ways. The texture of the terrain determines the degree of turbulence. The larger the obstacle, the higher is the turbulence.

Plumes travel over distant places through a medium of smooth terrain as compared with rough terrain. Landscapes or mountains also block the transport of the agent to some other places. However, the concentration of the agent increases as it strike any obstacle and travels on the windward side of the barrier but the quantity of the agent is reduced in the other side of the obstacle. Under stable atmospheric feature, plume will be trapped but it will spill over topographic barrier at a lower amount. Population The escape of the chemical agent is of greater hazards when people are being exposed to its risks.

People may be exposed through skin contact or inhalation. The exposure to the concentration with time is the critical parameter of the hazard. Health will greatly threatened if one is exposed in a more concentrated agent in longer time interval. Periphery Factors Boundary and planning zones contributes to the range and effective strategic actions when the chemical agent is accidentally released. Planning zones with fixed boundaries or radii imparts direction with the boundaries which are recognized by political, human and topographical aspects of the environment (Schwab, Eschelbach et al.

2007). Topographical is more preferred because people can easily identify the characteristics of the local government. Normally, emergency planning response are usually determined and organized by political units. Hence, it is desirable advantageous to have planning zones coincide with the political peripheries for immediate strategic response in case of emergency. Streets, highways, canals, and other artifacts of the environment provide useful boundaries especially when they serve as an obstacle to agent dispersion. Emergency Planning Zone for the ANAD Stockpile

Considering the different factors that affect the dispersion of agent, the distribution of risks and the stockpile hazards, reasonable and credible planning strategies is being identified for ANAD. To run trough, several reasonable establishments have been made such as initial concentric circle boundaries and stability. These boundaries are adjusted in consideration with the topographic features, meteorological conditions and population resources. According to Global Security, the largest internal accident happened in the ANAD is the munitions disaster that leads in a fire causing explosion of VX-filled land mines (GlobalSecurity. org 2007).

From the study conducted, the fatal downwind distance under 3 m/s results in 7. 5 km stability, while a downwind distance of 1 m/s lead to 32. 9 km stable conditions. Hence, ANAD ha an 11 km and 50 km for the immediate response zone and protective action zone, respectively. The terrain of the ANAD will significantly affect the diffusion of agent in the case of release. ANAD is surrounded by heavy vegetated hills and its facility and storage area are situated in the northern part of the installation. In its northeast-southwest part are the trading valleys and ridges while Heaver Creek Mountains is located to the west and northwest of the site.

The Skeleton Mountains and Coldwater Mountain is positioned to the east and the mountains of Talladega National Forest are in the southeast and the valley of Coosa River runs in its north-south direction. The ridge and valley structure in the west and northwest will significantly serve as a barrier. Under stable meteorological conditions, effects are definitely marked when the Coosa River will provide the medium to the agent flow and the ridges and valet tend to merge the agent. With initial upward buoyancy such as those caused by explosion or fire, the contribution of the topography on the agent release would tend to be less.

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