Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was passed by Congress in response to concerns regarding the environmental and safety hazards posed by the storage and handling of toxic chemicals. These concerns were triggered by the 1984 disaster in Bhopal, India, caused by an accidental release of methylisocyanate. The release killed or severely injured more than 2000 people.
To reduce the likelihood of such a disaster in the United States, Congress imposed requirements for federal, state and local governments, tribes, and industry. These requirements covered emergency planning and "Community Right-to-Know" reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. 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 to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment.
The objective of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) is to:
(1) allow state and local planning for chemical emergencies
(2) provide for notification of emergency releases of chemicals
(3) address communities' right-to-know about toxic and hazardous chemicals.
In the late 1980’s the implementation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act created a repository for documenting the storage of hazardous materials in the community. In conjunction with these laws the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) was formed to help identify priorities and provide oversight to local emergency planning. Most recently Homeland Security issues have become an additional focus for planning activities and resource development.
Green County LEPC
Wisconsin, each county has a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) consisting of local elected officials, emergency response personnel (fire, police, EMS, etc.), the media, the public, and industry. These volunteers participate in emergency response planning, training and exercises. The emergency planning addresses chemical hazards present at permanent facilities and on transportation routes. Green County Emergency Management coordinates the meetings and activities of the LEPC.
Hazardous Materials in our Community
Facilities are required to report Extremely Hazardous Substance(EHS) present at any one-time, that are on the EHS list at 40 CFR Part 355, in amounts that equal or exceed the chemical-specific Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ). Also, substances that are not on the list, but over 10,000 pounds must be reported. For more information click on this link:
In 2013, there were 57 facilities in Green County that reported quantities of EHS or substances over 10,000 lbs and 29 of them required an off site hazardous material plan. Green County Emergency Management develops these plans, free of charge, and regularly updates them. Copies of the plans are provided to the local fire department and Wisconsin Emergency Management.
Information about these hazardous chemicals and locations within Green County are available at the Green County Emergency Management Office, 2827 6th Street, Monroe, WI. Inquiries must be made in writing and be specific as to the information requested in the files, telephone inquiries will not be accepted. Information requested will be available within 10 business days after receipt of the request. Copies of documents will be made at the expense of the requestor and at rates established by Green County.Please understand that information available is limited to compliance with P.L. 99-499 and does not include all chemicals that may pose a threat to humans, animals or the environment.