Frequent Questions

Does the research laboratory exemption under Section 304 apply to Section 302?

Since certain chemicals at research laboratories are exempt from the definition of "hazardous chemicals" and thus possibly exempt from release notification requirements under Section 304, can this exclusion be extended to Section 302 planning requirements?

 

EPCRA defines "hazardous chemical" under Section 311 by reference to OSHA regulations. Under Section 311(e) "any substance to the extent it is used in a research laboratory or a hospital or other medical facility under the direct supervision of a technically qualified individual" is excluded from the definition of "hazardous chemical."  However, because the planning requirements are not tied in any way to the definition of "hazardous chemical," the "hazardous chemical" exclusion of Section 311(e) does not extend to Section 302.  In addition, for emergency release notification purposes under Section 304, if a release of an extremely hazardous substance or CERCLA substance exceeds the reportable quantity and occurs on a facility that produces, uses, or stores a "hazardous chemical," the facility owner or operator must notify the required parties.  Section 304 also states that releases of extremely hazardous substances and CERCLA substances are reportable under Section 304 only when they are released from a facility where "hazardous chemicals" are produced, used, or stored.  Accordingly, the hazardous chemicals in the research laboratory are exempt from Section 304 emergency notification only if no hazardous chemicals are produced, used or stored at the facility, other than those used at the laboratory under direct supervision of a technically qualified individual.

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