This news update, Environmental Compliance Basics- The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, is brought to you by JD Supra Business Advisor.
Does your business use or handle chemicals? If so, then read on.
EPA recently released its 2015 enforcement report, noting thousands of enforcement cases, tens of thousands of inspections, and hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties. Is your business ready for 2016? One of the EPA’s enforcement mainstays is the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (“EPCRA”), which can give rise to substantial penalties for facilities that manufacture, process or use certain chemicals. A basic understanding of EPCRA is essential to preparing for that next “surprise” inspection by EPA and avoiding fines that might otherwise be assessed.
EPCRA emerged as part of the 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (“SARA”), specifically Title III, in order to increase community awareness, information and reporting of chemical hazards. The law focuses on: (1) emergency response planning, (2) emergency release notification, (3) hazardous chemical storage reporting, and (4) toxic chemical release reporting. As with most environmental laws, evaluating compliance obligations can be cumbersome. However, there are 3 basic questions every facility should consider as a starting point.
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