Chlorine manufacturing, transportation and use are managed under controlled circumstances designed to prevent an emergency release. An important component of chlorine stewardship is developing and maintaining response plans in the event of an emergency. Trained employees, along with a comprehensive, written emergency response plan are necessary to mitigate the consequences of an emergency. Federal, state and provincial regulations, as well as various local fire and building codes regulate chemical emergency preparedness and response. All persons handling or responsible for the handling of chlorine must be familiar with the content of those requirements.
The Chlorine Emergency Plan (CHLOREP) is an industry-wide program formalized by the Chlorine Institute in 1972 to improve the speed and effectiveness of response to chlorine emergencies in the United States and Canada. Under this plan the United States and Canada are divided into regional sectors where trained emergency teams from chlorine producing, packaging and consuming plants are on constant alert on a 24-hour basis to assist in handling potential or actual chlorine emergencies. During a chlorine emergency, any carrier, customer, or civil authority can obtain basic emergency information and be put in contact with the closest CHLOREP team by phoning an emergency dispatch agency. For transportation-related incidents in the U.S., the Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (CHEMTREC) in Falls Church, VA, should be used as the dispatch agency. In Canada, the Canadian Transport Emergency Center (CANUTEC) in Ottawa should be used as the dispatch agency.
CHEMTREC operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is organized to receive direct-dial toll-free calls from any point in the United States and Canada at 1-800-424-9300 (703-527-3887 for all other calls). CHEMTREC provides immediate advice for those at the scene of emergencies, then promptly contacts the designated CHLOREP team for chlorine, the appropriate shipper and others as required. Registration with CHEMTREC is provided through the American Chemistry Council. CANUTEC, administered by Transport Canada, operates in a similar manner to CHEMTREC. Their telephone number is 613-996-6666 (call collect).