What is EPCRA?

What is EPCRA?

EPCRA was passed in response to concerns regarding the environmental and safety hazards posed by the storage and handling of toxic chemicals, triggered by the disaster in Bhopal, India, in which more than 2,000 people died or suffered serious injury from the accidental release of methyl isocyanate. To reduce the likelihood of such a disaster in the United States, Congress imposed requirements on both states and regulated facilities.

EPCRA establishes requirements for federal, state and local governments, tribes, and industry regarding emergency planning and “Community Right-to-Know” reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. The Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase public awareness and access to information about chemicals at individual facilities, their uses and releases into the environment. States and communities, working with facilities, can use the information to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment.

  • EPCRA has four major provisions:
  • Emergency planning (Section 301-303)
  • Emergency release notification (Section304)
  • Hazardous chemical storage reporting requirements (Sections 311-312)
  • Toxic chemical release inventory (Section 313)