Frequent Questions

Release of a hazardous substance in an encapsulated form

Is the release of a Reportable Quantity (RQ) or more of a CERCLA hazardous substance in an encapsulated form reportable?

The term "release" is defined in CERCLA section 101(22) as any "...spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment (including the abandonment or discarding of barrels, containers, and other closed receptacles containing any hazardous substance or pollutant or contaminant)..." (emphasis added). Therefore, even if the CERCLA hazardous substance is in encapsulated form, or is otherwise in a closed receptacle, reporting is required when the closed receptacles are abandoned or discarded and the amount of a CERCLA hazardous substance contained within the released material equals or exceeds an RQ. The legislative history makes it clear that the definition applies even to receptacles that have not broken open and are not leaking hazardous substances.

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