A spill, discharge or release may require reporting under various regulations, including but definitely not limited to:
CERCLA - The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) requires that:
- The person responsible for a facility or vessel
- Report hazardous substance releases
- To the National Response Center (NRC) (800-424-8802)
- As soon as they have knowledge that the release exceeded a CERCLA reportable quantity (RQ) (See EPA's List of List for established RQ's)
EPCRA - Section 304 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) requires that:
- The owner or operator of a facility
- Immediately report CERCLA Hazardous Substance and EPCRA Extremely Hazardous Substance releases at or above a reportable quantity (See EPA's List of List for established RQ's)
- To the appropriate SERC and LEPC
CWA - The Discharge of Oil regulation under the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires that:
- Any person in charge of a vessel or onshore or offshore facility
- To report any petroleum oil (such as gasoline) or non-petroleum oil (such as vegetable oil) release that causes a:
- Sheen or discoloration on the surface of a body of water;
- Violation of applicable water quality standards; or
- Sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or on adjoining shorelines.
- In Waters of the United States
- To the National Response Center (NRC) (800-424-8802)
- Immediately after they have knowledge of the discharge
CAA - Clean Air Act regulates air emissions and accidental releases of hazardous air pollutants:
- Compliance with NAAQS is a central requirement. These standards set permissible levels of specific air pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), and lead (Pb), in outdoor air. Areas that exceed NAAQS must develop and implement plans to reduce pollution levels.
- Facilities must demonstrate that they will not significantly degrade air quality or that they will use the best available control technology (BACT) to limit emissions.
- States must develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs) to achieve and maintain NAAQS and reduce hazardous air pollutants.
- It sets emission standards for cars, trucks, buses, and non-road vehicles and engines.
- Establishes technology-based emission standards for major sources of HAPs and requires the development of Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards
- Title IV created the Acid Rain Program, which aims to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from power plants to address acid rain and related environmental issues.
- Title V requires the development of operating permits for major sources of air pollution.
- Title VI addresses the protection of the ozone layer by regulating the production and use of ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
- The CAA grants the EPA and authorized state agencies the authority to enforce its provisions. Non-compliance with CAA requirements can result in penalties, fines, and corrective actions.
- Facilities subject to the CAA must regularly monitor emissions and report data to regulatory agencies. Compliance may also involve the use of continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS).
- The CAA emphasizes public participation in air quality planning and decision-making processes. It also addresses environmental justice concerns to ensure that low-income and minority communities are not disproportionately affected by air pollution.
- Discharges of more than:
- 1,000 gallons of oil in a single discharge; or
- 42 gallons of oil in each of two discharges within any twelve-month period
- That reach navigable waters or adjoining shorelines
- Be reported to the appropriate:
- EPA Regional Administrator; and
- The agency or agencies in charge of oil pollution control activities in the state in which the facility is located.
- In writing within 60 days (note this is in addition to the immediate reporting required under the CWA).
- Name, organization, and telephone number
- Name and address of the party responsible for the incident
- Date and time of the incident
- Location of the incident
- Source and cause of the discharge
- Types of material(s) discharged
- Quantity of materials discharged
- Danger or threat posed by the discharge
- Number and types of injuries (if any)
- Weather conditions at the incident location
- Other information to help emergency personnel respond to the incident
- Maintain a reportable quantity table that lists the following information for each chemical/material that is stored at or used by the facility:
- The concentration of each EPCRA extremely hazardous substances and CERCLA hazardous substances in the chemical/material; and
- The amount of the chemical/material that would need to be spilled to exceed an EPCRA or CERCLA reportable quantity.
- Maintain an up-to-date and easily accessible list of phone numbers for the agencies that would need to be reported in the event of a reportable release.
- Train its employees on facility-specific release reporting requirements.
- Maintain a reportable quantity table
- Calculate spill volumes
- Automated notifications
- Train team members on spill prevention and response procedures
- Centralize storage of release reports and cleanup documentation
- Complete incident investigations and root cause analysis to reduce the risk of future spills
SPCC - EPA's Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) requires that:
What If a Release Does Not Leave My Facility?
This depends on the applicable regulation.
EPCRA - Only the quantity of material that leaves the facility boundary needs to be included when evaluating whether a Reportable Quantity (RQ) has been exceeded
CERCLA - Regardless of whether it leaves the facility boundary, the entire amount of material released must be included when evaluating whether a reportable quantity has been exceeded.
CWA - Only discharges that reach Waters of the United States must be reported.
SPCC - Only the portion of the release that actually reaches navigable waters or adjoining shorelines needs to be evaluated (not the total amount of oil spilled)
What About Mixtures?
If the quantities (or concentrations) of all hazardous constituents in the mixture are known, notification is required only when an RQ of a particular hazardous constituent is released. If the quantity of one or more hazardous constituents is unknown, notification is required where the total amount of the release equals or exceeds the RQ for the hazardous constituent with the lowest RQ.
What Information Must Be Reported?
The NRC will request the following information:
Don't delay reporting if you do not have all of this information; rather make an initial report and follow it up once all of the information is available.
What Should I Do to Be Prepared?
Due to the very short reporting timeframes (generally immediately), facilities should:
How Can EHS Software Help?
EHS Software, such as the Ecesis Chemical Management Software Solution, Incident Tracking Software Solution, Training Management Software Solution, SPCC Software Solution and Emergency Planning Software Solution, help: