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Regulatory Information

Stop 12: Town

Highlighted Topic:  Right-to-Know legislation

Tour Stop 12The town or community surrounding your plant will have a key role to play in the environmental performance of your facility.   While community groups have no direct regulatory authority, citizens do have the right under several laws to sue if a facility isn’t following the regulations. Community groups also have general influence on how your business is regulated.

An important law that involves the surrounding community is the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), passed in 1986.  EPCRA is intended to improve local community access to information about chemical hazards and to improve state and local emergency response capabilities.  EPCRA has three main objectives:

  • To bolster local emergency planning efforts
  • To improve emergency notification in the event of a release of hazardous chemicals
  • To develop a baseline on routine chemical releases into the environment

To meet these objectives, EPCRA creates various reporting obligations for facilities that store or manage specified listed chemicals. All information submitted pursuant to EPCRA regulations is publicly accessible, unless protected by a trade secret claim.  The Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) is part of the EPCRA requirements.