Frequent Questions

Notification if a SERC or LEPC has not yet been established

What if the state commission and/or local committees must be notified of a release but have not yet been established?

States were required to establish their commissions by April 17, 1987 and those commissions were to establish local committees not later than 30 days after the designation of emergency planning districts or by August 17, 1987 whichever is earlier. Section 301 provides that if the State commission is not set up by April 17, 1987 the Governor must operate as the State commission, and thus notification must be made even if no commission is established. To date, all States have established an emergency response commission. Local committees are required to be established not later than 30 days after the designation of emergency planning districts or by August 17, 1987 whichever is earlier. If local committees are not set up, EPA encourages facilities to provide notifications to local emergency personnel such as local emergency management offices or fire departments. Local and State governments may make arrangements necessary for the receipt of the release information when local committees are not yet established.

Pursuant to 40 CFR 355.42, facilities must provide immediate emergency release notification information and the written follow-up notification to the community emergency coordinator for the LEPC of any area likely to be affected by the release (if there is no LEPC, notify the relevant local emergency response personnel); and the SERC of any State likely to be affected by the release. Section 355.40(b) requires facilities to submit a written follow-up report as soon as practicable after the release. On July 13, 2010 (75 FR 39852), the Agency interpreted the term "as soon as practicable" to be 30 days. The guidance states that facilities may have up to 30 days to submit a written follow-up report to the SERC and LEPC affected by the release. The guidance also provides flexibility for States to have more stringent requirements if they wish to do so, therefore, facilities should contact their State to determine if a more stringent timeframe has been established.

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