Frequent Questions

Are there exemptions to Section 304 reporting requirements?

EPCRA section 304 provides exemptions from notification in addition to the exemptions provided under CERCLA section 103.  Exemptions are codified in 40 CFR 302.4 and 355.31.  These are:

(a) releases which result in exposure only to persons solely within the facility boundaries;

(b) "federally permitted release" as defined under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 Section 101(10);

(c) releases of a pesticide product that is exempt from reporting under section 103(e) of CERCLA;

(d) any release that does not meet the definition of release under section 101(22) of CERCLA and is therefore exempt from CERCLA section 103(a) reporting;

(e) Any radionuclide release that occurs:
  (1) Naturally in soil from land holdings such as parks, golf courses, or other large tracts of land.
  (2) Naturally from land disturbance activities, including farming, construction, and land disturbance incidental to extraction during mining activities, except that which occurs at uranium, phosphate, tin, zircon, hafnium, vanadium, monazite, and rare earth mines.  Land disturbance incidental to extraction includes: land clearing; overburden removal and stockpiling; excavating, handling, transporting, and storing ores and other raw (not beneficiated or processed) materials; and replacing in mined-out areas coal ash, earthen materials from farming or construction, or overburden or other raw materials generated from the exempted mining activities.
  (3) From the dumping and transportation of coal and coal ash (including fly ash, bottom ash, and boiler slags), including the dumping and land spreading operations that occur during coal ash uses.
  (4) From piles of coal and coal ash, including fly ash, bottom ash, and boiler slags.

(f) Any release less than 1,000 pounds per 24 hours of nitrogen oxide or nitrogen dioxide to the air which is the result of combustion and combustion related activities.

(g) Any release to the air of a hazardous substance from animal waste at farms that stable or confine fewer than the numbers of animal specified in any of the following categories.
  (1) 700 mature dairy cows, whether milked or dry.
  (2) 1,000 veal calves.
  (3) 1,000 cattle other than mature dairy cows or veal calves.  Cattle includes, but is not limited to heifers, steers, bulls, and cow/calf pairs.
  (4) 2,500 swine each weighing 55 pounds or more.
  (5) 10,000 swine each weighing less than 55 pounds.
  (6) 500 horses.
  (7) 10,000 sheep or lambs.
  (8) 55,000 turkeys.
  (9) 30,000 laying hens or broilers, if the farm uses a liquid manure handling system.
  (10) 125,000 chickens (other than laying hens), if the farm uses other than  liquid manure handling system).
  (11) 82,000 laying hens, if the farm uses other than a liquid manure handling system).
  (12) 30,000 ducks (if the farm uses other than a liquid manure handling system).
  (13) 5,000 ducks (if the farm uses a liquid manure handling system).

(h) Any release to the air of a hazardous substance from animal waste at farms from animals that are not stabled or otherwise confined.

It should be noted, however, that some releases occurring at a facility which are not reportable under Section §304 may still be reportable releases under CERCLA 103 and, if so, must be reported to the National Response Center. Release reporting under Section 304 is in addition to release notification under CERCLA section 103.  For example, under EPCRA section 304, releases are reportable if they have the potential to affect persons offsite.  However, under CERCLA any release into the environment above the reportable quantity is subject to reporting.  Thus, notice to the National Response Center may be required even if no local or State reporting is required.

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