EPA Amends Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act Regulations
On October 17, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") announced changes to regulations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act ("EPCRA"), including clarification on how to report hazardous chemicals in mixtures and changes to Tier I and Tier II forms. The revisions also include minor changes to the emergency planning and emergency release notification provisions.
Under the new EPCRA regulations, when determining whether the threshold quantity for reporting an extremely hazardous substance ("EHS") has been met, facilities must include the total quantity of that EHS present in a pure form as well as in any mixture, even if any mixture including the EHS is also being reported as a hazardous chemical. To determine the threshold quantity for hazardous chemicals that are present in mixtures that do not contain any EHSs, facilities may add together both the quantity present as a component in mixtures (even if the mixtures are also being reported as hazardous chemicals) and the quantity of the chemical present in a pure form, or may consider the total quantity of each mixture separately. The rule also includes an updated list of EHSs and their reportable quantities.
The final rule also removes Tier I and Tier II inventory forms and instructions from the Code of Federal Regulations, moving them to EPA's Emergency Management website.
Facilities subject to these regulations, as well as state emergency response commissions, local emergency planning committees, and fire departments should review the new regulations.