SERC: Community Right-to-Know

Community Right-to-Know Provisions
and Record Retention Policies

Emergency Planning and Commuity Right-to-Know

Section 22a-602 of the CGS identifies the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) as the agency to receive, process and manage chemical information and notifications made pursuant to the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).  The DEEP works with the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) to manage the Community Right-to-Know information availability to the public.  EPCRA helps communities plan for emergencies involving hazardous and toxic chemicals and provides greater protection of the public through public disclosure by business and industry of the chemicals they store, use and release.

The dual legislative purposes of EPCRA are reflected in its name:  emergency planning and community right-to-know.  One part of the law requires businesses to report on emissions of certain toxic chemicals, and that information is then placed into the Toxics Release Inventory, a publicly-accessible data bank.  Another part of the law requires certain businesses to report releases of extremely hazardous chemicals to state and local authorities and to disclose to those same authorities the quantities and types of toxic chemicals stored on site.  Enforcement actions may be brought by U.S. EPA, DEEP, concerned citizens and other emergency planning and response groups.  The SERC works with U.S. EPA, Region 1 to assure compliance with emergency planning and Right-to-Know laws and regulations in order to protect human health and the environment.  

Availability of EPCRA Information 

The EPCRA law requires detailed information about hazardous substances in or near communities be available at the public's request.  When requesting such records, submit a Request for Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Form (PDF).  The EPCRA law requires a respond  within a 45 days.  Therefore, all requests are received and processed within that timeframe and as soon as possible on a first come, first served basis. 
 
One of the primary program objectives is to provide the records as soon as possible, or immediately in the case of an emergency.  Records Retention Policies and Protocols exist at the municipal, state and federal level, which provide the necessary structure to administer information such as chemicals listed in business or facility Tier II inventories, Material Safety Data Sheet for a specific chemical stored at a facility, Facility Emergency Coordinator or specific facility 24hr contact name and phone number.  
 
For Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data, the SERC recommends visiting the EPA, Region 1, TRI Data and Tools page.  TRI data is available through a variety of online tools and through downloadable data files.  The TRI data reflects the quantities of TRI chemicals and how they are managed, disposed of, released to the environment.  TRI data does not include information about public exposure to chemicals.

For more information about hazardous and chemical inventory reporting or other reporting requirements, contact deep.ctepcra@ct.gov or call at 860-424-3373.        

Content Last Updated on May 24, 2012