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Spill Management Information System (SMIS)

The Spill Management Information System (SMIS) is a geographic information systems (GIS) based decision support system designed to effectively manage the risks associated with accidental or intentional releases of a hazardous material into a waterway. SMIS provides critical planning and impact information to emergency responders in anticipation of or following such an incident. Additionally, SMIS is designed to effectively eliminate many of the communication and coordination challenges encountered during a spill event by providing responders with access to uniform information comprised of real-time incident information and maps, contaminant transport model outputs, and chemical response data.

SMIS couples GIS and database management systems (DBMS) with surface water and air contaminant transport models to predict the impacts of a waterway injection of a hazardous material. The surface water model CE-QUAL-W2 Version 3.1 developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the air contaminant model CAMEO developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are employed for the surface water and air pathways respectively. Live ‘real-time’ data links are established within the software to utilize current meteorological information and flowrates within the waterbody. Capabilities include the rapid modification of modeling conditions to allow for immediate scenario analysis and evaluation of ‘what-if’ situations as well as custom animation to view the spill’s condition over time.

SMIS was developed by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University for the USACE. Version 1.0 utilizes the Cheatham Reach of the Cumberland River located in Nashville, Tennessee as a “case study” template from which additional spill management information systems for other USACE water bodies may be developed. The modular structure of SMIS software allows for substitution of alternate surface water or air dispersion models. This valuable feature will permit future applications of SMIS system to be applied worldwide to virtually any waterbody.

SMIS is currently in use by the USACE Nashville District and Metro Nashville Water Services.