Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know
Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation and Liability Act
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), a federal law, establishes requirements for Federal, State and local governments, Indian Tribes, and industry regarding emergency planning and Community Right-to-Know reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. Also, note that EPA interpretation of certain provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) apply to EPCRA. For example, the 24-hour time period under CERCLA or the reporting of a CERCLA hazardous waste.
EPCRA is intended to encourage State and local planning and preparedness for releases of Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) and to provide the public, local governments, fire departments and other emergency officials with information concerning chemical releases and the potential chemical risks in their communities. The implementing regulations for emergency planning, emergency release notification and the chemicals subject to these regulations (EHSs) are codified in 40 CFR part 355. The implementing regulations for Community Right-to-Know reporting (or hazardous chemical reporting) are codified in 40 CFR part 370.
On December 3, 2008, EPA finalized several changes to the Emergency Planning, Emergency Release Notification (proposed on April 22, 1987) and Hazardous Chemical Reporting regulations that were proposed on June 8, 1998 (63 FR 31268). These changes are several including clarification on how to report hazardous chemicals in mixtures, and changes to Tier II forms. Note the term "CFR" means the Code of Federal Regulations.
There are five (5) separate EPCRA reporting requirements for subject facilities
Section 22a-611 of the CGS, EPCRA Section 313
Other Laws that Provide Similar Information
The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 includes national planning and preparedness provisions for oil spills that are similar to EPCRA provisions for EHSs. Plans are developed at the local, state and federal levels. The OPA plans offer an opportunity for LEPCs to coordinate their plans with area and facility oil spill plans covering the same geographical area. For further information regarding Oil Pollution Prevention Regulation Overview, go to EPA's website at www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/lawsregs/opprover.htm
The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments required the EPA and OSHA to issue regulations for chemical accident prevention. Facilities that have certain chemical above specified threshold quantities are required to develop a risk management program to identify and evaluate hazards and manage those hazards safely. Facilities subject to EPA's risk management program rules must submit a risk management plan (RMP) summarizing its program. For further information regarding RMP guidance, go to EPA's website at www.epa.gov/emergencies/guidance.htm#rmp
Records Retention and Access to Public Records
The EPCRA law provides provisions for the public to gain access to facility information and requires municipal, state and federal agencies to retain specific records for a period of time. For more information regarding the law, visit our webpage that describes the Community Right-to-Know provisions and records retention policies
Additional Reporting Requirements Programs
There are also additional reporting requirements that do not fall under EPCRA but are worth mentioning such as the
- State Spill/Release Reporting;
- Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards;
- Municipal Records Retention;
- Notice to the Local Fire Marshal; and
- The Annual Report of Carcinogenic Substances.
For more information regarding the EPCRA laws, please contact:
- Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP and Oil Information Center phone number is 800-424-9346 or TDD is 800-553-7672.
Content Last Updated on July 2, 2012