Open navigation


UNEP-APELL cooperation with NFPA
Quincy, MA – Ruth Coutto, Safer Production, Programme Officer of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Dean Larson of Perdue University, a member of the Technical Committee on Emergency Management and Business Continuity (NFPA 1600) visited NFPA headquarters on November 12 to discuss areas of cooperation. They found that NFPA and UNEP-APELL (Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level) are a natural partnership. APELL is a program developed by UNEP in conjunction with governments and industry with the purpose of minimizing the occurrence and harmful effects of technological accidents and environmental emergencies. The project focuses on the following six countries: Argentina, Peru, Chile, China, Thailand, and India.

The strategy of the APELL approach is to identify and create awareness of risks in an industrialized community, to initiate measures for risk reduction and mitigation, and to develop coordinated preparedness between the industry, the local authorities and the local population.

This common interest in using both the APELL process and NFPA 1600 together, as has been quite successfully demonstrated in Bahia Blanca, Argentina under the direction of Ing. Néstor H. Spósito of the NFPA Argentina Chapter.

Coutto and Larson met with Judy Comoletti, Division Manager, Public Education and Sharon Gamache, Director, High Risk Outreach Programs regarding NFPA educational programs. Of specific interest was the downloadable Risk Watch® material on NFPA’s website that can be shared on the Safer Production section of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch (SCP) Web site.

Guy Colonna, Division Manager of Industrial and Chemical Engineering answered some of Cuotto’s code questions regarding NFPA’s response to the OSHA proposed rulemaking to adopt the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) as a revision to the Hazard Communication Standard. This particularly impacts NFPA 30 regarding the classification of flammable and combustible liquids and the NFPA 704 hazard rating system used to alert emergency responders to potential hazardous materials stored or used at a facility to which they might be responding. They also discussed NFPA 472, which could be complimentary to the APELL process.

NFPA is optimistic about the possibilities of cooperation with UNEP-APELL as they work toward reaching common goals.