Minnesota Department of Transportation

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MnDOT Policies

Abandoned Containers on MnDOT Property

MnDOT Policy #OE017
Effective Date: March 25, 2020

View/print signed policy (pdf)

Abandoned Container Management Manual

Please go to the MnDOT Org Chart to find specific contact information: Org Chart.

Responsible Senior Officer: Deputy Commissioner/Chief Engineer
Policy Owners:
Director, Office of Maintenance
Director, Office of Environmental Stewardship
Policy Contacts:
Maintenance Operations Unit Leader
MnDOT Safety Director
Environmental Investigation Unit Supervisor

Policy statement

This policy standardizes the processes for reporting, assessment (triage), removal, and recording of abandoned containers on MnDOT property.

This policy is limited to abandoned materials in intact containers; it does not include spills of liquid or non-containerized solids.

MnDOT personnel throughout the state must follow the procedures outlined in the Abandoned Container Management Manual. Every reasonable and businesslike effort must be made to recover costs associated with abandonments from the responsible party(s).

MnDOT personnel who triage or manage abandoned containers must complete Abandoned Container Triage Training a minimum of every two years. The initial training must be in-person. Each District must maintain a current, accessible list of their designated and trained Abandoned Container Triage Persons. This list must be posted on each District’s safety iHUB page.

Abandoned Container Awareness Training must be included in the Introduction to Safety for New Employees (Part 1) and Right-to-Know training.

Reason for policy

MnDOT personnel encounter abandoned containers on MnDOT property, including roadways, roadsides, rest areas, storage yards, and maintenance facilities. Abandoned containers can hold a wide range of materials, some of which can be a hazard to MnDOT employees and the public. This policy exists to ensure abandoned containers are consistently handled in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective manner by personnel in all MnDOT Offices and Districts. 

Applicability

All MnDOT employees must comply with MnDOT policies.

Key stakeholders affected by this policy include:

  • Abandoned Container Triage Persons
  • District Safety Administrators
  • Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations Hazardous Materials Specialists
  • Office of Environmental Stewardship Regulated Materials Management Team
  • Adopt a Highway Coordinators
  • Highway Sponsorship Program Director

Definitions

Abandoned Container

A container or other receptacle with potentially dangerous contents that has been left on MnDOT’s property.

Abandoned Container Awareness Training

Training provided to MnDOT employees as a part of Right-to-Know training about abandoned containers.

Abandoned Container Triage Person

A designated MnDOT employee who has been trained in the triage and removal of abandoned containers. 

Note: This person has the authority to retain an emergency contractor to handle abandoned containers. District Adopt a Highway Coordinators and the Highway Sponsorship Program Director are not considered Abandoned Container Triage Persons.

Abandoned Container Triage Training

A course instructing MnDOT employees in the awareness, identification, and safe handling and removal of abandoned containers on MnDOT’s property. 

Note: Training is co-sponsored by the Offices of Environmental Stewardship (OES) and OFCVO.

District-Designated (Storage) Facility

A MnDOT District site established to receive abandoned containers from MnDOT’s property for proper storage prior to disposal.

Emergency

A threat to public health, welfare, or safety that threatens the function of government, the protection of property, or the health or safety of people.

Emergency Response Contractor

A state-authorized vendor providing environmental emergency response services that can be retained through the Department of Administration’s Contract Release: H-63(5), ENVIRONMENTAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE – FULL SERVICE contract to properly remove and transport hazardous waste.

* See State Emergency Response Contractors

Hazardous Waste Contractor

A MnDOT-approved vendor authorized to handle abandoned containers.

*See: MnDOT Approved List of Waste Contractors (pdf)

Imminently Dangerous Material

Any material that is immediately dangerous to life and/or health because of toxicity, reactivity, or other hazardous characteristics.

MnDOT Property

Any property that MnDOT owns or has right of access to, including the interstate and state trunk highways, remote yards and pits, operational facilities, and rest areas.

Not Safe to Handle

Descriptor for material that is not imminently dangerous but has been determined by an Abandoned Container Triage Person or MnDOT Hazardous Materials Specialist as unsuitable for MnDOT personnel to handle.

Responsibilities

Abandoned Container Triage Persons

District Safety Administrators

  • Provide and/or coordinate Abandoned Container Awareness Training for MnDOT employees who might encounter an abandoned container.

Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations Hazardous Materials Specialists

  • Assist in providing Abandoned Container Triage training.
  • Provide assistance in triaging containers.
  • Provide assistance in identifying the owner of or responsible party for abandoned containers.

Office of Environmental Stewardship Regulated Materials Management Specialists

  • Assist in providing Abandoned Container Triage training.

Adopt a Highway District Coordinators

  • Provide awareness information regarding abandoned containers to Adopt a Highway program volunteers.

Highway Sponsorship Program Director

  • Provide awareness information regarding abandoned containers to Highway Sponsorship program participants and volunteers.

Policy Owners (Director, Office of Maintenance and Director, Office of Environmental Stewardship)

  • Review policy every 2 years, or sooner as necessary, to ensure policy remains up-to-date.
  • Ensure the Abandoned Container Management Manual, workflow, and associated forms remain current.
  • Ensure training associated with policy remains current.
  • Work with Policy Coordinator to revise policy, as needed.
  • Communicate new policies as well as revisions, reviews, and retirements to stakeholders.

Resources and related information

Forms

Processes, Procedures, and Instructions

Resources

  • Business Data Catalog (BDC) – accessible from employee Intranet
  • MnDOT’s Policy Website

History and updates

Adopted

March 25, 2020

Policy review

This policy's next scheduled review is due March 2022.