The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (42 U.S.C. Section 11001 et seq., EPCRA) may not be as famous as the Clean Water Act or Clean Air Act, but EPCRA affects a large number of industries across the United States. As a consequence, businesses of all types should be familiar with the various requirements imposed by EPCRA and the potentially costly consequences for failing to do so, such as enforcement actions by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and disruptions to your business’ operations. This article briefly summarizes EPCRA’s reporting requirements, exemptions and a recent EPA rulemaking with important implications for Pennsylvania agriculture.

EPCRA Basics: Structure and Reporting Requirements

EPCRA imposes four levels of reporting requirements on industry concerning the storage, use, and release of hazardous substances. Reporting is required not only to federal and state agencies, but also to local governmental authorities. Under EPCRA, each state is required to establish a state emergency response commission (SERC), which further divides the relevant state into individual emergency planning districts with each district having its own local emergency planning committee (LEPC). EPCRA’s reporting requirements work within this framework as an individual facility must necessarily report EPCRA-covered activities to the appropriate governmental authority (EPA, SERC and LEPC).

EPCRA Section 311: MSDS/SDS Reporting

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