Hazard and Risk Management
BLM's Hazard and Risk Management responsibility involves managing public lands in a way that a) minimizes hazards and reduces public and employee exposure to risks on the ground and b) reduces or eliminates long-term threats to human health and natural resources. Such risks can come from natural hazards such as floods, wildfire, volcanic activity and earthquakes, or from man-caused conditions such as toxic spills or abandoned mine sites.
Whatever the origin, when such conditions arise, BLM must be prepared to take appropriate actions, assist in evacuation and rescue, coordinate with appropriate authorities and keep facilities and equipment functioning, and plan for recovery. As a rule, the following priorities will govern BLM's response.
- Mitigate and respond to risks on lands near expanding urban centers and in areas of heavy public visitation;
- Clean up contaminated lands that pose direct risks to human health and the environment;
- Consult and cooperate with communities and state and local agencies to leverage funds and prioritize needs;
- Respond to hazards, disasters and emergencies using up-to-date risk management methodologies;
- Maintain and update internal Emergency Management Plans and comply with Departmental initiatives;
- Respond in a timely and effective manner to incidents of illegal dumping of hazardous materials on public lands;
- Increase attempts to identify parties responsible for illegal activities in an attempt to reduce the use of appropriated funds for cleanup of contaminated lands;
- Monitor and maintain sites that have been restored and where damage has been mitigated.