Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) are substances, such as flammable or poisonous materials, that would be a danger to life or to the environment if released without precautions. EPG plays an active role in ensuring that highway projects do not expose construction workers or the general public to hazardous materials, during or after construction. Studies are conducted to identify hazardous materials, such as leaking underground storage tanks, lead based paints or asbestos. The depth of investigation will vary depending on the nature of the project, type of land uses, and the amount of ground disturbance. For example, testing for the presence of asbestos is routinely done when disturbing, repairing, renovating and demolishing any building or structure which may contain asbestos and that is owned, leased, operated, controlled or supervised by ADOT. The Asbestos Assessment Request Form is required to process an asbestos assessment for upcoming ADOT projects. Refer to SAF-6.01 Asbestos Management Policy for further guidance. It should be noted that there is a certain level of qualification required for professional practitioners who are responsible for preparing HAZMAT documentation.
The study to determine the presence of hazardous materials is called a Preliminary Initial Site Assessment (PISA), which is used on all roadway projects. Should hazardous materials be identified, such studies escalate into Phase I, Phase II, or Phase III assessments. These more comprehensive studies often result in mitigation that could include remediation, before construction begins. The guidance "Qualifications for Preparing Hazardous Materials Documents" should be consulted for the level of professional certification needed to prepare a HAZMAT document.