Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention
- Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA)
- Risk Management Program - Prevent catastrophic chemical releases which could affect human health and the environment.
- Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans - SPCC plans prevent discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. SPCC focuses on prevention as opposed to after-the-fact reactive measures (covered in Oil Spill Contingency Plans).
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA)
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 establishes requirements for Federal, State and local governments and industry regarding emergency planning and reporting of hazardous and toxic chemicals.
- Region 5 EPCRA Contacts
- State EPCRA Contacts
- Emergency Release Notification - Requirements for reporting a release of a hazardous substance to the environment
- Hazardous Chemical Storage - How to submit annual chemical inventory forms (Tier II reports)
- Extremely Hazardous Substance Reporting - Information for facilities about the presence of extremely hazardous substances on-site, who to notify, and the planning requirements involved
- Guidance and Publications Laws and regulations, regional documentation
Region 5 EPCRA Contacts
- Section Chief Mark Horwitz, 312-353-9045
- Enforcement (IL, MI, OH): James Entzminger, 312-886-4062
- Enforcement (IN, MN, WI): Ruth McNamara, 312-353-3193
- Enforcement: Ginger Jager, 312-886-0767
Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Section (CEPPS)
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604
State EPCRA Contacts
- Michigan SERC contacts
- Community Right-to-Know, including General SARA Title III info, TRI, and Hazardous chemical inventory
- Emergency Planning, including SARA section 302
- Spill/Release reporting, including SARA section 304
- Minnesota SERC contacts
- Minnesota EPCRA Program
- Minnesota EPCRA Program's Tier Two Manager software website
Emergency Release Notification
CERCLA Section 103 requires facilities to immediately notify the National Response Center (NRC) of a release of a hazardous substance that is equal to or greater than the reportable quantity (RQ).
EPCRA Section 304(a) requires facilities to immediately notify the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) of a release of a hazardous substance that is equal to or greater than the RQ, as well as written follow-up notification to both SERC and LEPC.
Section 304(c) of EPCRA requires a written follow-up notification report submitted to SERC and LEPC as soon as practicable after the release of a hazardous substance in an amount equal to or greater than the RQ.
The two types of chemicals that require reporting are Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) and CERCLA hazardous substances.
Hazardous Chemical Storage
Under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, employers must keep on-site material safety data sheet (MSDS) for any hazardous chemicals stored or used in the workplace. These MSDSs are used to provide information on the hazards associated with the workplace. This regulation covers approximately 500,000 products.
EPCRA Section 311 requires those facilities that have MSDSs for chemicals above certain quantities known as the minimum threshold level to submit copies of their MSDSs or a list of MSDS chemicals to SERC, LEPC, and local fire department.
Under EPCRA Section 312, these facilities must also submit annually an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form, or Tier II form, to LEPC, SERC, and local fire department. These forms must be submitted by March 1 of each year, and the information submitted is available to the public from LEPCs and SERCs.
Tier II forms should be obtained from the SERC. For more information on your Tier II forms, see Region 5 state SERC contacts.
Extremely Hazardous Substance Reporting
Under EPCRA Section 302, 40 C.F.R. Part 355, when a facility has on-site more than the threshold planning quantity (TPQ) of an extremely hazardous substance (EHS), then the owner or operator must submit a notice to SERC and LEPC stating that the facility has an EHS above the TPQ.
Additionally, the owner or operator of the facility must provide the name of the emergency contact to LEPC to assist in the planning process. This is a one-time submission unless changes have occurred.
Guidance and Publications
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- EPCRA Frequent Questions
- EPA's Audit Policy
- EPA Requirements
- Release Notification Requirements
- TRI Guidance documents - EPCRA Section 313/TRI
- LEPC Database
- List of Lists: Consolidated List of Chemicals Subject to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) and Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act - updated July 2011
- Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Advisories
- Hazards of Ammonia Releases at Ammonia Refrigeration Facilities (PDF) (6 pp, 143K) August 2001
- EPCRA Fact Sheet (PDF) (5 pp, 122K) March 2000
- Chemical Safety Alert: Anhydrous Ammonia Theft (PDF) (6 pp, 122K) March 2000
- Questions and Answers on Release Notification Requirements and Reportable Quantity Adjustments (PDF) (46 pp, 1.2M) January 1995