United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Solid Waste
and Emergency Response
EPA 550-F- 2008

Chemical  Emergency  Preparedness  and
Prevention on  Tribal  Lands
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Clean Air Act's
(CAA) chemical accident prevention provisions in section 112(r) require facilities to provide
information on the presence of hazardous chemicals in communities. These laws have built
better relationships among government at all levels, business and community leaders,
environmental and other public-interest organizations, and individual citizens.  EPA intends this
fact sheet to familiarize Tribal leaders with EPCRA and CAA section 112(r) Risk Management
Program requirements and how the information gathered under these laws can enhance Tribal
chemical accident prevention, preparedness and response activities.

EPCRA and the CAA section 112(r) Risk
Management Program requires facilities to report
on hazardous chemicals they store or handle. Both
laws give the public access to these reports.

The CAA explicitly authorized EPA to treat
Federally Recognized Tribes in the same
manner as States for the purposes of
implementing environmental programs. For
the purposes of EPCRA, EPA has taken the
position that all Federally Recognized Tribes have
the same responsibilities as States.

As a result of these two laws provide an array of
complementary information on what chemicals are
in the community; what chemicals are present at
each location; what hazards these chemicals pose;
what chemical releases have occurred in the area;
and what steps industry is taking to prevent
additional accidents.

This information can be used to enhance your
community emergency response plan and protect
your community from chemical hazards.

A Role for Tribes in EPCRA

Under sections 301-303 of EPCRA, States form
State Emergency Response Commissions
(SERCs). Likewise, Tribal chief executive
officers must appoint Tribal Emergency Response
Commissions (TERCs) to accomplish the
1. Designate local emergency planning districts;
                    2. Appoint a local emergency planning
                    committee (LEPC) to serve each of the districts;
                    3. Coordinate and supervise LEPC activities;
                    4. Coordinate proposals for and distribution of
                    Federal grant funds fir TERCs and/or Tribal
                    5. Review LEPC plans, recommending any
                    needed changes;
                    6. Establish procedures for receiving and
                    processing public requests for information
                    collected under EPCRA; and
                    7. Ask for further information about a particular
                    chemical or facility, when needed.

                    Forming a TERC Through TERCs, Tribes
                    provide leadership to ensure that an EPCRA
                    emergency planning and implementation
                    structure is developed. Additionally,  TERCs
                    provide training and technical assistance to
                    communities so that Tribal members know what
                    to do in the event of a chemical accident.

                    The Tribal chief executive officer operates as the
                    TERC if a TERC is not established or a
                    cooperative agreement is not developed. A
                    Tribe may choose to enter into cooperative
                    agreements with another Tribe or a consortium
                    of Tribes or the State within which its lands are
                    located to achieve a workable EPCRA program.
                    Some examples of a cooperative agreement

                    1.    A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
                    with the SERC to become  a Tribal LEPC or join
                    an off-reservation LEPC.

2.   A MOA with the SERC so that the Tribe
implements some but not all of the law's
requirements, while the State implements the

LEPCResponsibilities LEPC responsibilities
depend upon the needs of the local community and
Tribes often find that the SERC itself can
accomplish the work of the LEPC. However, if an
LEPC is formed, its membership must include, at a
minimum, local officials such as police, fire, civil
defense, public health, transportation and
environmental professionals, industry
representatives of facilities subject to the
emergency planning  requirements of EPCRA,
community groups, and the media.

LEPCs must develop a contingency plan to
prepare for and respond to  emergencies involving
hazardous substances in their communities.  The
plans should include:
     The identity and location of hazardous
     Procedures for an immediate response to a
     chemical accident;
     Public notification of evacuation or shelter-
     in-place procedures;
     Industry contact names; and
     Timetables for testing and updating the plan.

The plans should be reviewed annually, exercised,
and updated annually to best meet the needs of the

LEPCs also receive the emergency release
notifications and the  annual hazardous chemical
inventory information submitted by facilities (see
the "What Information Do  You Have Section?" of
this factsheet).  This  information can help the
LEPC keep its plan and response procedures up-

A Role for Tribes in the CAA Section 112r Risk
Management Program

Under the CAA section 112(r), Tribally-owned
facilities with processes exceeding a threshold
quantity for 77 acutely toxic substances (such as
chlorine and ammonia) and 63 highly volatile
flammable substances (when not used as a fuel),
must adopt a Risk Management Program. An
example of such a Tribally-owned facility would
be a drinking water facility holding more than
2,500 pounds of chlorine. Additionally, a
summary of the program, known as a risk
management plan (RMP) must be submitted to
EPA. The RMP includes:

     The facility hazard assessments, including
     worst-case release and alternative release
     The facility accident prevention activities,
     such as the use of special safety
     equipment, employee safety training
     programs, and process safety hazards
     analyses conducted by the facility;
     The past chemical accidents at a facility;
     The management system in place at the
     facility; and
     The facility's emergency response

RMPs that have been submitted can be reviewed
at http://www.epa.gov/enviro.

If a Tribe is authorized under the Clean Air
Act Tribal Air Rule (40 CFR Part 49) for
treatment as a State, it can obtain
delegation for the RMP program.  If the
TERC passes its own chemical safety
legislation, it should ensure that its program
mirrors the federal law in  order to
strengthen enforcement capabilities. For
more information on how to receive
delegation for your Tribe, see the Risk
Management Programs Under CAA Section
112(r) - Guidance for Implementing
Agencies at
7iguidfhl.pdf (PDF)
NOTE: On August 4, 2000, EPA and the
Department of Justice published a rule outlining
how the public and members of TERCs, SERCs
and LEPCs can access offsite consequence
analysis (OCA) information about facilities that
have submitted an RMP. A TERC or Tribal
LEPC member can receive the information
directly from EPA for use in their official
government position (e.g., to incorporate the
information into their  emergency preparedness

plans). For more information on this rule and how
you can access the OCA information, visit the
EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/emergencies
or call your EPA Regional Contact (see list at the
end of this factsheet).

What Information DD YDU Have?

Regulatory requirements, by themselves, do not
guarantee safety from chemical accidents. Both
EPCRA and the Risk Management Program
encourage communication between facilities and
the surrounding communities about chemical
safety and chemical risk. In this  way, accident
prevention is focused at the local level where the
risk is found.  For example, talking with industry
about both the quantities of a chemical and a
facility's  prevention program allows local
emergency officials and the Tribe as a whole to
gain a clearer picture of the chemical risk on your

Under EPCRA, you receive information from
covered facilities on the chemicals they have, the
quantities of chemicals stored, the hazards
associated with those chemicals,  and information
on storage locations and conditions. Specifically,
EPCRA provides you with:

      Notification from facilities that it has
      extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) in
      excess of a certain threshold. (EPCRA
      sections 302 and 303).

      Notification from facilities if there is an
      accidental chemical release of an EHS or
      any substance regulated under the
      Comprehensive Environmental Response,
      Compensation, and Liability Act
      (CERCLA).  This information is reported to
      the TERC/LEPC community emergency
      coordinator.  (EPCRA section 304).

      Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) or
      lists of hazardous chemicals. MSDSs
      contain information on the quantity, hazard
      category, and location and  storage
      conditions of hazardous chemicals at
      facilities. This information is directly
      reported to the TERC/LEPC and the
      appropriate fire department. (EPCRA
      sections 311 and 312).

Annual reports on planned releases of toxic
chemicals from regulated facilities.  This
information is reported to EPA. EPA compiles
this information in a database called the Toxics
Release Inventory (TRI) and makes the
information available to the public.  (EPCRA
section 313).  This information can be received
on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/enviro.

How Can Tribes Use This Information?

Combining this EPCRA information with the
Risk Management Program information listed
above, allows you to gain a better understanding
of the chemical risk on your land. For example,
what precautions are in place to avoid a
chemical release? Is a facility near a medical
clinic or a highly traveled area? What
procedures have been developed to notify and
assist the people affected by an accidental
release? Has the fire department coordinated
with the facility to determine the best response
procedures?  If the Tribe does not have a fire
department, are mutual aid agreements in place
with an off-reservation department?  Using the
chemical information available to you opens a
new avenue of communication between you and
the facility on your land.

These programs also offer you an opportunity to
partner with other Tribes or possibly the States
and/or towns that border your lands. In
reviewing your emergency response plan, do
you see some areas that need to be updated or
otherwise improved? Are there chemical risks
in a locality bordering your land that need to be
addressed? Some Tribes have developed MOAs
and/or mutual aid agreements with their
neighbors in order to meet these needs, thereby
lowering their chemical risk while creating
better prevention and response plans.

What Else Should Tribes Consider?

Deliberate Chemical Releases. TERCs and
LEPCs should also address the possibility of
deliberate chemical releases in their emergency
response plans.  For example, accidental releases

often occur when illegal drug makers steal
anhydrous ammonia to produce
methamphetamines. Another possible scenario
would be a terrorist incident.  TERCs and LEPCs
should focus on using established mechanisms
rather than creating new organizations to deal with
these issues. Several sections of a Tribe's response
plan, including emergency contact information,
response functions, and hazards analysis, should
be evaluated to consider the effect of a deliberate
release. The CEPPO Chemical Safety Alerts
Anhydrous Ammonia Thefts and LEPCs and
Counter-Terrorism provides more information on
this topic.

Citizen Suits. EPCRA section 326 allows citizens
to initiate civil actions against EPA, TERCs, and
the owner or operator of a facility for failure to
meet the EPCRA requirements. A TERC, LEPC,
and State or local government may institute
actions against facility owner/operators for failure
to comply with EPCRA requirements.

Available Resources

Data Sources. These are several websites that can
provide you with information to help you
implement EPCRA and the CAA Risk
Management Program.

 Profiles of the EPCRA extremely hazardous
  substances are available at

 EPA maintains information on accidental
  releases reported under EPCRA in a database,
  the Emergency Response Notification System
  (ERNS). You can access ERNS online at:

 MSDSs do not have a standard format and can
  sometimes be confusing. On-line databases,
  which often have multiple  versions of MSDSs
  for individual chemicals, can help you find an
  MSDS that is well organized and easy to read.
  You can access online copies of MSDSs
  maintained by universities at
 TRI and RMP data can be accessed through
  Envirofacts at http://www.epa.gov/enviro.
  Also available in Envirofacts are data on
  facilities that have:
  >  Permits to release substances to water, in
     the Permit Compliance System database.
  >  Permits to release hazardous pollutants to
     air, in the air release database.
  >  Permits to store and treat hazardous wastes,
     in the RCRA database.

Guidance.  To help officials as they develop
their emergency plans, the National Response
Team (NRT) has published the Hazardous
Materials Emergency Planning Guide (NRT-1),
which is available at http://www.nrt.org. In
addition, FEMA has published the State and
Local Guide (SLG) 101: Guide for All-Hazard
Emergency Operations Planning, which tells
emergency planners  how to identify hazards in
the planning district, determine vulnerable zones
for each hazard, assess risk, and then set
priorities among hazards and begin to develop
an emergency plan.  This publication is available
at http://www.fema.gov or by calling FEMA's
Printing and Publications Branch at (800) 480-

EPA has also published documents to help
industry comply with the reporting provisions of
EPCRA and to help  Tribal and local officials
manage and analyze the information submitted.
One of these documents is a factsheet entitled
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-
to-Know Act (EPA 550-F-00-004), which is
available at:

EPA and FEMA staff also help TERCs
administer EPCRA and understand RMP by
sponsoring workshops, speaking at TERC and
LEPC meetings, providing guidance for
developing and testing local emergency plans,
and managing, understanding, and
communicating the information submitted under

EPA has published several guidance documents
which may assist TERCs and LEPCs with the
RMP requirements.  Each of the following

guidance documents are available for free by
calling EPA's distribution warehouse at 1-800-
490-9198 or visiting the EPA website at

   RMPs Are on the Way (EPA 550-B99-003)

   Risk Management Programs Under CAA
   Section 112(r) - Guidance for Implementing
   Agencies (EPA 550-B98-002)

   Guidance for Auditing Risk Management
   Plans/Programs under Clean Air Act Section
   112(r) (EPA550-B99-008)

Software. Computer Aided Management of
Emergency Operations (CAMEO) is a software
program that can assist you to manage and use
information collected under EPCRA and conduct a
community hazards analysis. It also includes
response  information for over 3,000 chemicals
commonly transported into the U.S.  You can
obtain CAMEO by visiting the EPA/NOAA
CAMEO website at

RMP*Comp helps users complete the offsite
consequence analysis that is required under the
Risk Management Program. You can also use
RMP*Comp to verify data submitted by industry.
When you use RMP*Comp, (a) you don't need to
make any calculations by hand and  (b) the
program guides you through the process of making
an analysis. You can obtain RMP*Comp by

Financial Assistance.  EPA's Chemical
Emergency Preparedness and Prevention (CEPP)
Technical Assistance Grants offer funding aid to
Tribes in establishing TERCs, in developing
emergency plans, and in preparing to integrate
accident prevention information into their plans.
These activities are related to EPCRA and Section

The grantee must provide matching funds equal to
25 percent of the total project cost.  To obtain
further information on the CEPP grants, contact
your EPA Regional Contact (see below).
The Hazardous Materials Emergency
Preparedness (HMEP) grant program is intended
to provide financial and technical
assistance to enhance State, Territorial, Tribal,
and local hazardous materials emergency
planning and training. The HMEP Grant
Program distributes fees collected from shippers
and carriers of hazardous materials to
emergency responders for hazmat training and
LEPCs for hazmat planning. For more
information, visit

One comprehensive source  of financial
assistance information is the Tribal
Environmental and Natural Resource Assistance
Handbook produced by the  Domestic Policy
Council Working Group on American Indians
and Alaska Natives.  This handbook provides a
central location for federal sources of technical
and financial assistance available to Tribes for
environmental management. The handbook is
available online at

EPA Regional Contact Information

For more information on any of the information in
this fact sheet, please contact your EPA Regional
Representative listed here.

Region 1 (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT)
Deborah Brown (617) 918-1706
brown. deborah@epa.gov
JFK Federal Building
Congress Street Suite 1100
Boston, MA 02114-2023

Region 2 (NY, NJ, PR, VI)
Dwayne Harrington, (732)-906-6899,
2890 Woodbridge Avenue
MS 211, Building 10
Edison, NJ 08837-3679

Region 3 (PA, MD, DE, WVA, VA)
Joan Armstrong, (215)-814-3155
armstrong j oan@epa.gov
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Region 4 (KY, TN, NC, SC, MS, AL, GA, FL)
Forrest Covington (404) 562-9192
covington. forre st@epa.gov
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303

Region 5 (MN, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH)
Glenn Cekus (312) 353-6449
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604

Region 6 (NM, TX, OK, AR, LA)
EPCRA / CEPPO Activities:
Steve Mason (214)-665-2276
mason. steve @epa.gov
EPA Region 6 (6SF-P)
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202

RMP Activities: Bob  Goodfellow (214)-665-6632

Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE)
Kim Olson  (913)551-7458
901 N. 5th St.
Kansas City,  KS  66101

Region 8 (MT, ND, WY, SD, UT, CO)
Barbara Benoy  (303) 312-6760
1595 Wynkoop St.
Denver, CO  80202

Region 9 (CA, NV, AZ, HI)
Angie Proboszcz (415) 972 3077
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
 For More Information:

Visit EPA's Chemical Emergency
Preparedness and Prevention Office website at

Contact the RCRA, Superfund, and EPCRA
       (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-
       9810TDD (800)553-7672
Monday -Friday, 9 AM to 6 PM, EST

All EPA documents can be ordered for free
from the National Service Center for
Environmental Publications by calling 1-800-
Region 10 (WA, OR, ID, AK)
Kelly Huynh (206) 553-1679
1200 Sixth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
EPA Headquarters
William Nichols
OEM Tribal Coordinator
(202)- 564-1970