What is the CAMEO Software Suite?
The Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO®) software suite is a system of software applications designed to help communities plan for and respond to emergencies. It also supports regulatory compliance by helping users meet chemical inventory reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), also known as Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA Title III).
The CAMEO software suite has been co-developed by EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) since 1988. It ensures that emergency response personnel have accurate hazardous substance information and assists emergency planners with chemical and all-hazards planning. The software suite is used to access, store, and evaluate information critical for developing emergency plans and responding to emergencies. The applications can be used individually or interactively to share and display information in a timely fashion.
The software suite is widely used by firefighters, State or Tribal Emergency Response Commissions, Local or Tribal Emergency Planning Committees, industry, universities, environmental organizations, and police departments. The CAMEO system is available in Macintosh and Windows formats and hosts offline functionality for front-line use.
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The CAMEO software suite is comprised of five programs that can be used separately or together:
ALOHA® (Areal Locations of Hazardous Atmospheres) is an atmospheric dispersion model used for evaluating releases of hazardous chemical vapors. ALOHA allows the user to estimate the downwind dispersion of a chemical cloud based on the toxicological/physical characteristics of the released chemical, atmospheric conditions, and specific circumstances of the release. ALOHA can estimate threat zones associated with several types of hazardous chemical releases, including toxic gas clouds, fires, and explosions. Threat zones can be displayed on MARPLOT maps to help users assess geospatial information, such as whether vulnerable locations (such as hospitals and schools) might be impacted by the release or whether other nearby factors (such as chemical storage facilities) might complicate the response.
CAMEO Chemicals is an extensive chemical database with critical response information for thousands of chemicals. There are two primary types of datasheets in the database:
- Chemical datasheets provide physical properties, health hazards, information about air and water hazards, and recommendations for firefighting, first aid, and spill response.
- UN/NA datasheets provide response information from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's Emergency Response Guidebook and shipping information from the Hazardous Materials Table [49 CFR 172.101].
In addition to the information on the datasheets, you can also add chemicals to the MyChemicals collection to see what hazards might occur if the chemicals in the collection were mixed together. CAMEO Chemicals is available as a website, mobile website, mobile app, and desktop program. (The mobile app and desktop program formats can be used offline.)
CAMEO Data Manager is a database application designed to help states and communities manager their emergency planning information (such as chemical inventories and contact information for facilities) to assist in their emergency response and planning activities. It is especially useful for managing data required under EPCRA. Under EPCRA, facilities are required to submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form (Tier II Form) to their State or Tribal Emergency Response Commission, Local or Tribal Emergency Planning Committee, and local fire department.
Information can be manually entered into CAMEO Data Manager or imported via a Tier2 Submit file or another file that is compliant with the National Tier II Data Standard. CAMEO Data Manager can interact with MARPLOT and CAMEO Chemicals.
MARPLOT® (Mapping Application for Response, Planning, and Local Operational Tasks) is a geographic information system (GIS) mapping program. The program comes with several global background basemap options, with maps in both street and satellite view. Users can add to the information shown on the map by drawing their own objects (such as chemical facilities, schools, or response assets) or by importing layers of objects already created by other sources.
Map objects can be linked to records in CAMEO Data Manager, in order to store additional information about these locations (such as emergency contact information or site plans). Additionally, the areas contaminated by potential or actual chemical release scenarios can be displayed on the maps to determine potential impacts and help users make decisions about the degree of hazard posed by the releases.
Tier2 Submit™ is a program to help facilities prepare electronic versions of the Tier II hazardous chemical inventory form that are required annually under EPCRA. Tier2 Submit includes all of the fields from the federal Tier II form, and it also includes additional fields that are required or requested by some states and tribes.
The program is updated annually, and only the most recent version can be used to create the current year’s Tier II submission file. Completed Tier II forms are due by March 1 each year. Contact your state or tribe to see if they accept Tier2 Submit files and to learn the specific reporting requirements and submission details for your facility.
Tier II hazardous chemical inventory data can also be exported from Tier2 Submit into CAMEO Data Manager, which can be used to complete additional emergency planning and response activities.
RMP*Comp™ is a program used to complete the Off-site Consequence Analyses (both worst case and alternative scenarios) required under the Risk Management Program rule. RMP*Comp is a browser-based program that runs in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
GNOME – General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment
The GNOME (General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment) suite is a set of modeling tools for predicting the fate and transport of pollutants, such as oil, spilled in water. These modeling tools are used for spill response support and are also publicly available for use by the broader academic, response, and oil spill planning communities.