United States                 Office of Solid Waste                   EPA 550-F-09-003
             Environmental Protection        and Emergency Response                     March 2009
             Agency                                                  www.epa.gov/emergencies

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. The purpose of this fact sheet is to familiarize tribal
leaders with EPCRA and CAA Section 112(r) Chemical Accident Prevention Program requirements.
The information available under these laws can promote an integrated approach to chemical safety
on tribal lands.

EPCRA and the CAA Section 112(r) Chemical Accident Prevention Program require facilities to report
on hazardous chemicals they store or handle. 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.

Both laws give the public access to these reports. The information can be used to enhance the
community emergency response plan and protect local communities from chemical hazards.
Because of the importance of making this information available to all communities, EPA recognized
tribal governments as the appropriate implementing authority of EPCRA in Indian Country. Through
regulation, federally recognized  tribes have the same role as states in the development of chemical
emergency preparedness programs under EPCRA.  In addition, the CAA provides that eligible
federally recognized tribes may  implement provisions of the CAA in the same manner as states within
reservations and non-reservation areas under their jurisdiction.


Under Sections 301-303 of EPCRA, states form State Emergency Response Commissions
(SERCs). Similarly, tribal chief executive officers appoint Tribal Emergency Response
Commissions (TERCs) to accomplish the following:

      Designate local emergency planning districts as needed.
      Appoint a local emergency planning committee (LEPC) to serve each of the districts.
      Coordinate and supervise LEPC activities.
      Coordinate proposals for and distribution of federal grant funds for TERCs and/or tribal
      Review LEPC plans and recommend  any needed changes.
      Establish procedures for receiving and processing public requests for information collected
       under EPCRA.
      Obtain further information about a particular  chemical or facility, when needed.
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TRIBAL ALERT                                                               MARCH 2009

Forming a TERC
Through TERCs, tribes can ensure the development of an emergency planning and implementation
structure relevant to community needs.  Additionally, TERCs can provide training, technical
assistance, and information to communities within Indian Country so that persons know what to do in
the event of a chemical accident.

There are several options available to tribes in the implementation of EPCRA programs. A tribe
may choose to enter into cooperative agreements with another tribe, a consortium of tribes, or
the state within which its lands are located to develop an EPCRA program that meets specific
tribal needs.  Some examples of EPCRA implementation include:

     A tribe may directly implement the program within Indian Country.
     Through a cooperative agreement with the SERC, a tribe may choose to implement some, but
      not all of the law's requirements, while the state implements the remainder.
     A tribe authorizes the SERC to perform the functions of the TERC within Indian Country and
      the tribe establishes an LEPC or joins an off-reservation LEPC that works  directly with the
      SERC through a cooperative agreement.

The tribal chief executive officer operates as the TERC when a TERC is not established or a
cooperative agreement is not developed.

LEPC Responsibilities
Local circumstances will determine how extensive a chemical safety program should be. Tribes often
find that the TERC 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, and transportation; environmental professionals; industry representatives of facilities subject
to the emergency planning requirements of EPCRA; community groups; and the news media.

Among other things, LEPCs develop a contingency plan to prepare for and respond to emergencies
involving hazardous substances in their communities. The plans should be reviewed, exercised, and
updated annually and should include:

     Identity and location of hazardous materials.
     Procedures for an immediate response to a chemical accident.
     Public notification of evacuation or shelter-in-place procedures.
     Industry contact names.
     Timetables for testing and  updating the plan.

Chemical facilities are required to  notify LEPCs of emergency releases and to submit annual
information on their hazardous chemical inventory (see the "What Information  Is Needed?" section of
this fact sheet). This information can help the LEPC keep its plan and response procedures up to


Under CAA section 112(r), all chemical 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 implement a Risk Management Program.  An example of
Office of Emergency Management

TRIBAL ALERT                                                                 MARCH 2009

a facility subject to the Chemical Accident Prevention Program requirements would be a drinking
water facility holding more than 2,500 pounds of chlorine. All facilities subject to such requirements
must submit a summary of the program, known as a risk management plan (RMP) to EPA. The RMP

     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
     The past chemical accidents at a facility.
     The management system in place at the facility.
     The facility's emergency response program.

There are special procedures for the public to access RMPs. These procedures are described in
the fact sheet Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act: Public
Distribution ofOffsite Consequence Analysis Information at: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/docs/
chem/ocafactsheet. pdf_.

Tribes that EPA finds eligible for treatment in the same manner as a state under the Clean Air Act
Tribal Air Rule (40 CFR part 49) can apply for authorization to administer the Chemical Accident
Prevention Program. If the tribe passes its own chemical safety legislation, it should ensure that its
program is at least as stringent as the federal law in order to strengthen enforcement capabilities.
For more information on how to receive delegation for your tribe, see Risk Management Programs
Under CAA Section 112(r) - Guidance for Implementing Agencies


Regulatory requirements, by themselves, do  not guarantee safety from chemical accidents.  Both
EPCRA and the Chemical Accident Prevention 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 risks within Indian Country.

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.

In addition to the RMP database information, TERCs and LEPCs can access offsite consequence
analysis (OCA) information about facilities that have submitted a RMP. A TERC or tribal LEPC
member can receive the information directly from EPA for official use (e.g., to incorporate the
information into their emergency preparedness plans).  For more information on how to access the
OCA information, visit the OEM Web site (http://www.epa.qov/oem/content/rmp/readinqroom.htm).


Combining the EPCRA and Chemical Accident Prevention Program information allows tribes to gain a
better understanding of the chemical risks within Indian Country.  For example, what precautions are
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TRIBAL ALERT                                                                MARCH 2009

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
non-tribal departments? Using the chemical information available to you opens a new avenue of
communication between you and the chemical facilities within Indian Country.

These programs also offer tribes an opportunity to partner with other tribes, states,  and/or towns that
border Indian Country.  In reviewing your emergency response plan, do you see some sections that
need to be updated or otherwise improved? Are there chemical risks in a locality bordering your
community that need to be addressed?  Some tribes have developed memorandums of agreement
(MOAs) and/or mutual aid agreements with their neighbors in order to meet these needs, thereby
creating better prevention and response plans.


EPCRA can provide tribes with the following:

     Notification from facilities that have 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
      hazardous substance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
      and Liability Act (CERCLA). This information is reported to the TERC and LEPC community
      emergency coordinator (EPCRA  section 304).
     Material Safety  Data Sheets (MSDSs) or lists of hazardous chemicals.  MSDSs contain
      chemical-specific information such as type of chemical, toxicity, hazard category, and
      emergency response procedures. This information and emergency and hazardous chemicals
      inventory forms (Tierl/ll) are directly reported to the TERC/LEPCs and the appropriate fire
      department (EPCRA sections 311 and 312).
     Information on planned releases  of toxic chemicals from regulated facilities through the Toxics
      Release Inventory (TRI) database (EPCRA section 313).

Chemical Releases Due to Criminal Actions
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 use already established mechanisms, when applicable,
to address these issues rather than creating new organizations. 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 EPA Chemical Safety Alerts
Anhydrous Ammonia Thefts and LEPCs and Counter-Terrorism provide more information on this
topic (http://www.epa.gov/oem/publications.htmtfalerts).

EPCRA Section 326 Considerations
EPCRA section 326 allows citizens to initiate civil actions against EPA, SERCs, and the owner or
operator of a facility for failure to meet EPCRA requirements. The EPA rulemaking designating
federally recognized Indian tribes as the EPCRA implementing authority does not preclude the use of
sovereign immunity defense on legal actions against Indian tribes or tribal officials.
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TRIBAL ALERT                                                               MARCH 2009


Chemical Data Sources
These are several Web sites that provide information to help you implement EPCRA and the CAA
Chemical Accident Prevention Program:

      Profiles of the EPCRA extremely hazardous substances are available at:
      Information on accidental releases reported under EPCRA is available through the National
       Response Center at: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/learning/response.htm.
       Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) 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 assist in finding an MSDS that is well organized and easy to read. Online
       copies of MSDSs are maintained by universities at www.hazard.com.
      TRI and RMP data can be accessed through Envirofacts atwww.epa.gov/enviro. Envirofacts
       also provides data on facilities that have:
          o  Permits to release substances to water,  in the Permit Compliance System
          o  Permits to release hazardous pollutants to air, in the air release database.
          o  Permits to store and treat hazardous wastes, in the RCRA database.

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
www.nrt.org. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (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/plan/gaheop.shtm or by calling FEMA's
Printing and Publications Branch at 1-800-480-2520.

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 fact sheet entitled The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
(EPA 550-F-00-004), which is available at: http://www.epa.gov/oem/docs/chem/epcra.pdf.

EPA and FEMA staff also help TERCs administer EPCRA and understand the Chemical Accident
Prevention Program 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 EPCRA.

OEM has published several guidance documents that may assist TERCs and LEPCs with the
Chemical Accident Prevention Program requirements.  Examples of current guidance documents
include the following:

          Risk Management Programs Under CAA Section 112(r) - Guidance for Implementing
          Agencies (EPA 550-B98-002) at: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/docs/chem/iguidfnl.pdf
          Guidance for Auditing Risk Management Plans/Programs under Clean Air Act Section
          112(r) (EPA550-B99-008) at: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/docs/chem/audit gd.pdf
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OEM has also published a Chemical Safety Network series, which shares successful practices in
RMP implementation, risk communication, and use of the data.

These documents are available electronically on the OEM Web site. Copies of EPA guidance
documents can be obtained by calling EPA's distribution warehouse at 1-800-490-9198.

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 in the
United States. CAMEO can be accessed at:

RMP*Comp helps users complete the offsite consequence analysis that is required under the
Chemical Accident Prevention Program. RMP*Comp can be used to verify data submitted by
industry.  When RMP*Comp is used, by hand calculations are not necessary; the program guides
the user through the process of making an analysis. RMP*Comp is available at:
http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/rmp/rmp comp.htm.

Financial Assistance
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 at: www.epa.gov/indian.

The Department of Transportation's 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
http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/grants or call 202-366-0001.

FEMA has a grant program to fund six major firefighting preparedness categories: training, wellness
and fitness programs, vehicles, firefighting equipment, personal protective equipment, and fire
prevention programs. Visit FEMA's Web page at www.fema.gov.

EPA Regional Contact Information
EPA has Regional representatives  that can provide you with more information on the subjects
discussed in this fact sheet. Please contact the Call Center or use the OEM  Web site to find the
appropriate EPA Regional  point of contact.
Office of Emergency Management

TRIBAL ALERT                                                              MARCH 2009


Visit EPA's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/emergencies.

Contact the Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP, & Oil Information Center (Call Center):
800-424-9346 or TDD 800-553-7672
703-412-9810 or TDD 703-412-3323 in the Washington, D.C. area
Monday - Thursday, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST
Extended Hours of Operation (May, June, and July)
Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

All EPA documents can be ordered for free from the National Service Center for Environmental
Publications (NSCEP) by calling 800-490-9198 or via the Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/nscep/.
Office of Emergency Management