United States	April
Environmental Protection 1990
Congressional And Legislative Affairs (A-103)
Big And Small
You can find out and
help make your community
Printed on Recycled Paper

Action Checklist
It's easy to start getting involved. Here are a
few ideas for steps you can take right now:
c£> Call your library for information, ,
pk. Ask. your town or state government for
the phone number of your Local
^Emergency Planning Committee,
c{> Contact your regional EPA office,
J=j> Spread the word -give this leaflet
to a friend, neighbor, or schoolteacher.

Your Rights
Thanks to 1986 Federal legislation, you now
have a special opportunity to help improve
chemical safety in your community. Together
with others, you can get involved and make a
The Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-IOiow law requires communities
across the country to set up local committees
that make plans for responding to chemical
emergencies. You can join your local commit-
tee and become a full partner in preparing for
emergencies and managing chemical risks.
The law also requires certain manufacturing
plants and other facilities to submit informa-
tion about the chemicals they use, store, and
emit to the environment. Some small busi-
nesses also are required to file reports. You
can get this information and take action to
reduce chemical risks.
Remember - under the law, you are guaranteed
the right to get information on chemicals in
your community.
The Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-Know Act is based on the idea of
working partnerships. All sectors of the
community must join forces under one or more
of the law's four provisions:
The Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-Know Act is also known as Title III of
the Superfund Amendments and Reauthoriza-
tion Act (SARA).

Under the Law
Planning fox Emergencies
Each local committee develops its own plan to
prepare for and respond to chemical emergen-
cies using chemical information reported by
local facilities.
Reporting Accidental Releases
Chemical plants and other facilities covered
under the law must notify federal, state and
local authorities if they accidentally release
certain hazardous chemicals in amounts that
exceed the limits EPA has set.
Storing Chemicals
Facilities covered must provide information on
where and how they store chemicals and in
what quantities. They submit this information
to the local fire department, the local commit-
tee, and the State.
Reporting Annual Releases
Each year, manufacturing facilities that release
certain toxic chemicals into the environment
must estimate and report the total amount
released, both accidentally and routinely. EPA
is making this information available to the
public via a national computerized data base
called the Toxics Release Inventory, or TRI.

You Have a Right to Know
Just because you don't live in a town with a big
chemical plant doesn't mean you don't have to
be concerned about chemical risks. Chemical
hazards can exist where you least suspect.
Did you ever stop to think that gas stations,
garden centers, your local dry cleaners, and
even your local swimming pool also use and
store chemicals on their premises - and that
these chemicals could pose risks to your com-
Chemical hazards come big and small. Their
effects can be felt in a split second when an
explosion occurs or over a longer time when
the pollution they may cause leads to public
health problems.
You can do something about chemical hazards.
Information is available. You don't have to be
an expert to understand it. You can use it to
help lower chemical hazards by encouraging
facilities to reduce their chemical inventories
and emissions. Others may already be work-
ing on the problem and you can join them.
Find out. Take that first step today.

JO. &«¦
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EPA Library Rec
ion 4
2-- *7 C.
Want to find out more?
Call this number:
You will reach the EPA toll-free Emergency
Planning and Community Right-to-Know
Information Hotline. The hotline will refer you
to people in your area who are already in-
volved. It is open between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30
p.m. Eastern timeon_weekdavs.^_	
"I urge you —for the sake of your family, your
neighbors, and your community - to take an active
role in your local emergency planning committee.
Let's deal with potential chemical hazards before
they become a problem. You can make a difference."
William K. Reilly,
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency