EPA Advises Facility Operators to Prevent and Minimize Chemical Releases during Hazardous Weather Events
ATLANTA (May 16, 2019) – As hurricane season approaches, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a Hazardous Weather Release Prevention and Reporting alert to remind facility operators of certain requirements that call for preventing, minimizing and reporting chemical releases. This alert is designed to increase awareness among facility operators about their obligation to operate facilities safely, minimize releases that do occur, and report chemical releases in a timely manner, as required under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and/or the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
“EPA wants to remind facility operators to implement necessary safety measures to prevent chemical releases and thereby reduce the risks to workers, first responders, and the surrounding community,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker.
The alert specifies release prevention and preparedness requirements and clarifies reporting requirements, including exemptions. Unlike some natural disasters, the onset of a hurricane is predictable and allows for early preparations to lessen its effect on a facility. Before hurricane force winds and associated storm surge flooding damage industrial processes, the alert recommends that operators take preventive action by safely shutting down processes, placing hazardous chemicals in safe storage locations, or otherwise operating safely under appropriate emergency procedures. If a chemical release does occur, operators should notify appropriate authorities immediately so that an appropriate response can be carried out.
The alert and requirements are available at https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters/hazardous-weather-release-prevention-and-reporting.
In the event of a hazardous weather incident, please visit https://www.epa.gov/natural-disasters for updated emergency information.