The role of the Orange County Environmental Health Hazardous Materials Team (Health HazMat Team) is to provide specialized emergency response to protect public health, the property of Orange County residents and the environment. The Health HazMat Team responds to incidents county-wide that involve a release or potential threat of hazardous materials and wastes that pose a physical, chemical, biological or radiological hazard to the community. The Health HazMat Team provides emergency response support staffing 24-hours a day.
The primary duties of the Health HazMat Team are to provide regulatory guidance and technical expertise, to mitigate and oversee the removal of hazardous substances and to investigate hazardous materials incidents. The Health Hazmat Team responds to:
- Hazardous materials spills
- Clandestine drug lab operations
- Terrorism incidents
- Hazardous materials complaints
The Health HazMat Team is comprised of California State Certified Hazardous Materials Technicians and Specialists who have over 400 hours of specialized training in hazardous materials, investigation, evidence collection and weapons of mass destruction. The Health HazMat Team is part of the Orange County Joint Hazard Assessment Team and trains with local law enforcement including Specialized Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Bomb Squad, Fire Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Civil Support Team to respond to high hazard incidents. All members of the Health HazMat are deputized Health Officers with the Health Care Agency, and are trained Terrorism Liaison Officers with the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center.