Frequent Questions

What emergency release information must be reported to a telephone operator?

An owner or operator of a facility from which there is a release of a substance during transportation or storage incident to transportation may meet the emergency release notification requirement by providing the information specified in 40 CFR §355.42(b) to the 911 emergency operator, or in the absence of a 911 emergency operator, to the regular telephone operator.  What must a facility owner/operator do if the telephone operator typically has a different procedure for handling emergency calls, e.g. connecting the caller directly to the police or fire department?  Must the facility owner/operator provide all of the required information to the telephone operator even if the telephone operator does not want to accept it?

The alternative emergency release reporting method for releases during  transportation was designed for transportation operators who may not know the telephone numbers of the relevant State and local entities.  (April 22, 1987, 52 FR 13386) If a 911 emergency number is available, the owner/operator reporting the release should use it. If no 911 emergency number can be reached, the facility owner or operator must contact the telephone operator.

The telephone operator may follow their own procedures for handling emergency calls.  If their procedures are to take all of the caller's information, then it would be appropriate for transportation operators to supply them with the information required in 40 CFR §355.42(b).  If the 911 emergency operator's procedure requires connection of the caller to an emergency response agency, then the caller must report the release information to this agency.

 

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