US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center

Toxic Industrial Chemicals and Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield

For High Quality Assessments of TICs in the Battlefield Exposures to Toxic Industrial Chemicals

Published Nov. 19, 2012
TIC data from International Task Force 40 and the Toxic Release Inventory is related to NAICS codes to generate a crude estimate of the probability to encounter specific TICs in a designated region, and the GIS platform can be used to map industrial facilities and the areas of highest hazard probabilities within a designated region.

TIC data from International Task Force 40 and the Toxic Release Inventory is related to NAICS codes to generate a crude estimate of the probability to encounter specific TICs in a designated region, and the GIS platform can be used to map industrial facilities and the areas of highest hazard probabilities within a designated region.

(TICs) may result during military urban operations involving industrial or manufacturing facilities, and can negatively affect neutral and friendly military and civilian populations. The ERDC Environmental Laboratory located in Vicksburg, Miss. has developed a method for high quality assessment of TICs from industrial sources that may be present in a battlefield as part of the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) process.

Estimate Probability of TICs at a Location

With a database of over 2,000 Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) and a data model to relate the TIC types in the database as 6-digit North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes, users can estimate the probability to encounter specific TICs at industrial facilities. The database of TICs, primarily from the International Task Force 40 and EPA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), includes information on physical properties, hazard assessment, and environmental effects and remediation.

Map Areas where TIC Hazards are Highest

By using an integration of the TIC database and a custom, standards-based GIS platform that maps industrial facilities within a designated region, users may generate a physical layout of the areas with the highest probability of TIC hazards is produced. This technology offers a basis for the continuation of a more comprehensive effort to assess potential battlefields for TIC hazards in regions with less available data OCONUS (Outside of the Continental United States).

Features

  • Database of over 2,000 Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs)
  • Easy-to-use ESRI ARCGIS Desktop for software development, which should allow easy transition to the warfighter
  • Web-based application to visualize TIC spatial layers on a relevant basemap
  • Laptop-friendly with the future possibility of compatibility with a handheld device

Developmental Testing

A series of scenarios were created to test the predictive aspects of the integrated geospatial system along with the TIC database. The tests were conducted using actual industrial facilities in the Vicksburg, Miss. area and EPA Tier 2 data. Five scenarios that represented a broad spectrum of industries and hazardous situations were tested, and the TIC release mechanism and the atmospheric conditions were different in each. The scenarios provided the geospatial locations of the industrial facilities and information such as industry type, partial list of chemicals, possible hazards, and/or other site characteristics. Sites varied in proximity to the community and geographic features. A limitation during the testing was that some of the chemical, industry, and hazard protection was done manually because the analytic programming had not been completed.

The ERDC-developed method found that the predicted chemicals encompassed the overall hazardous risk at the site, and successfully identified 60-70% of the TICs. While the tests listed 2-5 times more chemicals than were actual, 60-90% of the predicted top 10 hazardous chemicals were actual.

“A successful product generated from this project could aid in identifying environmental hazards associated with operational planning and in the evaluation of environmental problems associated with overseas bases.”- US Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence (MSCoE)

Future Development

Further developmental testing would benefit the development of a TIC-oriented IPB process as a product that can be used by deployed forces for rapid environmental assessment of industrial facilities. Proposed enhancements include:

  • Refine TIC database to completely include enhancements as specified at conclusion of the applied research project
  • Develop method to rank overall hazard of a particular site for simplified assessment and to compare sites.
  • Complete the development of a specific GIS interface for standalone product – incorporate ability to process chemical database information and utilize results for completely automated operation.


ERDC Points of Contact

Questions about TIC & IPB?

Contact: Dr. Victor Medina
Victor.F.Medina@usace.army.mil
601-634-4283

Contact: Dr. K. James Hay
Kent.J.Hay@usace.army.mil
217-373-3485

OR

Contact: Andy Martin
andy.martin@usace.army.mil
601-634-3710