Community Right to Know (EPCRA)
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 is a federal law that helps increase the public's knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. Communities and facilities use this information to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment. The following provisions are covered by EPCRA:
- Emergency Planning
- Emergency Release Notification
- Hazardous Chemical Storage Reporting Requirements
- Toxic Chemical Release Inventory
EPCRA applies to any facility that has on-site, for any one day in a calendar year, an amount of hazardous chemical(s) equal to or greater than established threshold limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This includes:
- If the chemical is hazardous, the threshold quantity is 10,000 pounds or more
- If the chemical us an extremely hazardous substance (EHS), the threshold is 500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is less
State and local agencies and officials are charged with some of establishing the above provisions. The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) develops emergency response plans, reviews plans annually, and provides information about chemicals in the community to citizens. The McLean County Emergency Management Agency is the designated LEPC for McLean County. The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) assists in chemical emergency planning, provides public access to chemical data, raises public awareness of chemical risks and encourages public participation in local chemical safety issues. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) serves as the Illinois SERC.
Environmental Health and Safety submits annual Tier II Reports to the SERC, LEPC, and local emergency responders. The purpose of Tier II forms is to provide state and local officials and the public with specific information about hazardous chemicals present at facilities during the previous calendar year.