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A GIS-Based Framework for Hazardous Materials Transport Risk Assessment

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This article presents a methodology for assessment of the hazardous materials transport risk in a multicommodity, multiple origin – destination setting. The proposed risk assessment methodology was integrated with a Geographical Information System (GIS), which made large-scale implementation possible. A GIS-based model of the truck shipments of dangerous goods via the highway network of Quebec and Ontario was developed. Based on the origin and destination of each shipment, the risk associated with the routes that minimize (1) the transport distance, (2) the population exposure, (3) the expected number of people to be evacuated in case of an incident, and (4) the probability of an incident during transportation was evaluated. Using these assessments, a government agency can estimate the impact of alternative policies that could alter the carriers’ route choices. A related issue is the spatial distribution of transport risk, because an unfair distribution is likely to cause public concern. Thus, an analysis of transport risk equity in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario is also provided.

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems; Hazardous materials; equity; large-scale implementation; risk; transportation

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada., 2: Department of Industrial Engineering, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.

Publication date: December 1, 2001


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