[Narrator] Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-Know Act of 1986 or EPCRA was created to help communities plan for emergencies involving
hazardous substances. EPCRA establishes requirements for federal, state and local governments,
Indian tribes and industry. EPCRA sets standards for emergency planning and community right-to-know
information reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals.
[Roberta] EPCRA helps the public by allowing them to understand and have access to information
on what chemicals are stored in their community, how they’re transported, what the hazards
are, what actions they need to take if there’s a release whether it’s intentional or accidental,
whether or not they need to shelter in place or evacuate. It allows them to plan for circumstances
where they really do have a life and death decision to make.
[Steven] Information is power and in this business today if I know going to an address
or going to a location that there are other hazards there that it’s not your run of
the mill building fire, there are chemicals involved, that will definitely better help
us serve the community that we’re here to take care of.
[Narrator] The Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase the public’s knowledge and access
to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into
the environment. States and communities, working with facilities, can use the information made
available under EPCRA to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment.
[Steven] One of the things that we use our
Tier II reporting program for is we bring the information right up to the fingertips
of our responders to respond out for emergencies at those locations. Right here on this map
right within our community we have the 704 marking system. Guys who are responding to
calls in that area can bring the Tier II reporting form up for that facility right to their fingertip
and tell what the chemicals are that are being stored in there.
[Roberta] The danger of not knowing what chemicals are in your community is that you
can’t prepare for them. You can’t establish plans on what to do with your family and evacuation
routes, and whether or not it’s safe in a particular area. You can’t plan on things
like how many emergency responders are needed for a community, what kind of firefighting
equipment is needed, how many first responders are necessary, what does the hospital need
to be ready for if something does happen. It’s an outstanding planning tool.