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EPCRA Section 304

Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Emergency Release Notification Requirements

If an accidental release of an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) exceeds the applicable minimal reportable quantity, the facility must notify the State Emergency Response Commissions (SERC) and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) for any area likely to be affected by the release. If an accidental release of a hazardous substance listed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the facility must notify the National Response Center (NRC), as well as the SERC and LEPC.

The facility must provide a detailed written follow-up as soon as practicable. Information about accidental chemical releases must be made available to the public.

What facilities and chemicals are regulated under the emergency release notification requirements?

Any facility that accidentally releases into the environment one of the following types of chemicals in an amount greater than or equal to the minimum reportable quantity as required by the Emergency Release Notification regulation (PDF) (4 pp, 199 K, About PDF):

What chemicals are regulated?

The consolidated list of chemicals provides a listing of all chemicals subject to:

  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA),
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA),
  • Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (also known as the Risk Management Program), and
  • Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals.

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What are facilities required to do?

If such an accidental release occurs, the facility must immediately notify LEPCs and SERCs for any area likely to be affected by the release. In addition, spills of CERCLA hazardous substances must also be reported to the NRC at (800) 424-8802. Emergency notification requirements involving transportation incidents can be met by dialing 911, or in the absence of a 911 emergency number, calling the local operator.

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What must be included in the emergency notification?

  • The chemical name
  • An indication of whether the substance is extremely hazardous
  • An estimate of the quantity released into the environment
  • The time and duration of the release
  • Whether the release occurred into air, water, and/or land
  • Any known or anticipated acute or chronic health risks associated with the emergency, and where necessary, advice regarding medical attention for exposed individuals
  • Proper precautions, such as evacuation or sheltering in place
  • Name and telephone number of contact person

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What is a Written Follow-up Notice?

A written follow-up notice must be submitted to the SERC and LEPC as soon as practicable after the release. The follow-up notice must update information included in the initial notice and provide information on actual response actions taken and advice regarding medical attention necessary for citizens exposed.

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Where can I find more information on these requirements?

For more information on emergency release notification requirements, see: Emergency Release Notification regulation (PDF) (4 pp, 199 K), About PDF).

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