SEPA	May2019
United states	iviay zuiy
Environmental Protection
Amendments to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-
Know Act - America's Water Infrastructure Act
A Guide for Community Water Systems and State Drinking Water Primacy
On October 23, 2018, America's Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) was signed into law, amending
numerous provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. AWIA also amended the Emergency Planning and
Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The revisions to EPCRA require that community water systems
(1) receive prompt notification of any release of a hazardous substance that potentially affects their
source water, and (2) have access to hazardous chemical inventory data. These requirements went into
effect immediately upon signing the law.
Why are these revisions to EPCRA important to community water
•	Release of a hazardous substance into a source of drinking water or to the land in a source
water protection area could compromise the ability of a community water system to deliver safe
and reliable drinking water to their customers and pose a risk to public health.
•	Under some scenarios, contaminants from a release could reach the drinking water intake for a
community water system in less than an hour.
•	Thus, it is critical that a community water system receives prompt notification so it can take
actions to prevent contaminated water from entering its system or otherwise minimize the
consequences of the release to the system and its customers.
•	Finally, a community water system can proactively plan for potential releases if they have access
to hazardous chemical inventories in their source water protection area. A hazardous chemical
inventory, combined with other relevant information, allows a water system to characterize the
risk of source water contamination threats and prioritize source water protection activities.
EPCRA was passed by Congress in 1986 in response to concerns raised about community preparedness
for chemical emergencies and the availability of information on hazardous chemicals.
The purpose of EPCRA is to:
•	Encourage and support emergency planning efforts at the state, tribal, and local levels;
•	Provide local governments and first responders with information concerning potential
chemical hazards present in their community;
•	Prevent, prepare for, and mitigate the effects of a chemical incident; and
•	Provide the public with information on chemical risks in their community and information
on what to do if a chemical accident occurs.
To achieve these goals, the law assigned responsibilities to state and local agencies. Accordingly, the
Governor of each state designated a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) to implement the
EPCRA provisions within the state. SERC duties include:
•	Designating local emergency planning districts;

•	Appointing a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) for each district;
•	Reviewing local emergency response plans;
•	Supervising the activities of the LEPC; and
•	Establishing procedures for receiving and processing public requests for information collected
under EPCRA.
In tribal regions, Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs), have the same responsibilities as
SERCs and Tribal Emergency Planning Committees (TEPCs) have the same responsibilities as LEPCs.
LEPCs and TEPCs are responsible for working within their communities to ensure that emergency
response plans are created, with participation by all community members, and providing information
about chemicals in the community to citizens.
LEPC (or TEPC) membership is intended to broadly involve all community members such as elected state
and local officials; police, fire, civil defense, and public health professionals; environment,
transportation, and hospital officials; facility representatives; and representatives from community
groups and the media. Community water systems should consider joining the LEPC in their area to
integrate their emergency response planning efforts with those of the surrounding community.
Facilities are required to notify or submit reports on chemical releases and on the presence of hazardous
chemicals to their SERC (or TERC) and LEPC (or TEPC). These agencies are required to provide public
access to information collected under EPCRA except information claimed as confidential. For more
information, see EPCRA factsheet.
What are the EPCRA amendments that are important to community
drinking water systems?
AWIA section 2018 amended the Emergency Release Notification (EPCRA section 304) and Hazardous
Chemical Inventory Reporting (EPCRA section 312) sections of EPCRA.
Overview of EPCRA emergency release notification (section 304)
Under EPCRA section 304, facilities are required to provide immediate notification to the appropriate
SERC (or TERC) and LEPC (or TEPC) of any releases of Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) and
hazardous substances (HSs) listed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act (CERCLA) at or above their Reportable Quantities (RQs). The list of EHSs and their RQs
are in appendices A and B of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 355 and the list of CERCLA HSs
are in 40 CFR 302.4.
Section 304(b)(2) requires the following information in the initial release notification:
•	The chemical name or identity of any substance involved in the release;
•	An indication of whether the substance is a listed Extremely Hazardous Substance;
•	An estimate of the quantity of any such substance that was released into the environment;
•	The time and duration of the release;
•	The medium or media into which the release occurred;
•	Any known or anticipated acute or chronic health risks associated with the emergency and,
where appropriate, advice regarding medical attention necessary for exposed individuals;
•	Proper precautions to take, including evacuation (unless such information is readily available to
the community); and

•	The name(s) and telephone number(s) of the person or persons to be contacted for further
Section 304(c) requires facilities to provide a follow-up written report as soon as practicable after the
release that updates information included in the initial release notification and provides additional
information including:
•	Actions taken to respond to and contain the release;
•	Any known or anticipated acute or chronic health risks associated with the release; and
•	Where appropriate, advice regarding medical attention necessary for exposed individuals.
AWIA amendment to EPCRA section 304
AWIA section 2018(a) amends EPCRA section 304 to add a new sub-section, section 304(e), Addressing
Source Water used for Drinking Water. This new sub-section requires SERCs and TERCs to perform the
following actions:
• Promptly notify the applicable state agency (i.e., State drinking water primacy agency) of
any reported release and provide this agency with:
o The information collected under section 304(b)(2) from the initial release
notification; and
o The follow-up written report received under section 304(c).
The State drinking water primacy agency is then required to promptly provide all the information
regarding the release to any community water systems whose source water is potentially affected by
the release. The source water for a community water system is potentially affected if the release occurs
in that system's source water area (also known as a source water protection area) or upstream of the
system's water intake. State drinking water primacy agencies and community water systems can provide
the boundaries for source water protection areas and locations of water intakes to SERCs and TERCs.
If there is no State drinking water primacy agency, the SERC (or TERC) is required to directly notify the
potentially affected community water systems.
Community water systems should use the information provided by the State drinking water primacy
agency, SERC, or TERC to evaluate and respond to possible impacts to their systems resulting from the
release. Furthermore, lessons learned from releases that occur should be integrated into emergency
response planning.

Water System(s)
Promptly notify of reported
Promptly notify of reported
If no State Drinking Water
Primacy Agency, directly notify
Community Water System(s)
State Drinking
Water Primacy
Release Occurs and
Facility Provides all
Information Required
Under EPCRA 304(b)(2)
and 304(c)
Figure 1. AWIA Section 2018(a) Release Notification Flow
Overview of hazardous chemical inventory reporting (sections 311 & 312)
Sections 311 and 312 of EPCRA contain provisions for hazardous chemical inventory reporting, also
known as community right-to-know reporting. Facilities that handle hazardous chemicals, defined under
the Occupational Safety and Health Act and its implementing regulations, above set threshold amounts
are required to provide information on the chemicals, quantities, locations, and potential hazards.
Section 311 requires facilities to submit a Material Safety Data Sheet, MSDS (or Safety Data Sheet, SDS)
for each hazardous chemical, or a list of hazardous chemicals, present at or above the reporting
thresholds specified in the implementing regulations. Section 312 requires that facilities submit an
inventory of these hazardous chemicals (Tier II form) annually by March 1st. The MSDSs or list of
chemicals and Tier II form are submitted to the SERC (or TERC), LEPC (or TEPC), and the local fire
department. The implementing regulations, which include reporting thresholds can be found in 40 CFR
part 370.
The Tier II form contains the following information:
•	The chemical name or the common name of the chemical as provided on the MSDS;
•	An estimate (in ranges) of the maximum amount of the hazardous chemical present at the
facility at any time during the preceding calendar year;
•	An estimate (in ranges) of the average daily amount of the hazardous chemical present at the
facility during the preceding calendar year;
•	A brief description of the manner of storage of the hazardous chemical;
•	The location at the facility of the hazardous chemical; and

• An indication of whether the owner elects to withhold location information of a specific
hazardous chemical from disclosure to the public as a trade secret.1
Some states require submission of more information than is required of the Federal program.
SERCs, TERCs, LEPCs and TEPCs have authority to request Tier II information from facilities for any
hazardous chemical that is below the reporting thresholds established in the regulations.
AWIA amendment to EPCRA section 312
AWIA section 2018(b) amends section 312 to require SERCs (or TERCs) and LEPCs (or TEPCs) to provide
affected community water systems with chemical inventory data (i.e., Tier II information) for facilities
within their source water protection area upon request. Source water protection areas may span
jurisdictional boundaries at the local and state levels, potentially requiring access to Tier II data from
multiple SERCs (or TERCs) and LEPCs (or TEPCs). If the SERC, TERC, LEPC, or TEPC do not have Tier II
information, these entities should request the information from facilities and make such information
available to the affected community water systems. This includes requests for Tier II information below
the reporting thresholds.
As LEPCs have authority under EPCRA to ask for Tier II information at levels below the reporting
threshold, community water systems and LEPCs should coordinate so that meaningful information to
inform the community water systems' preparedness planning is obtained. For example, it may be more
relevant to focus on hazardous chemicals that are liquids and request Tier II forms at lower than
established thresholds.
This data is collected at the state level, so how a community water system gets access to this
information for their community will vary from state to state, as well as the required security and
protection controls for potentially sensitive information.
How do the AWIA section 2018 EPCRA amendments relate to AWIA
section 2013?
AWIA section 2013 requires community water systems serving more than 3,300 people to develop or
update risk assessments and emergency response plans (ERPs). The law specifies the components the
risk assessments and ERPs must address. One of these components is source water. The provisions of
AWIA section 2018 can play a key role in meeting the requirements of AWIA section 2013, specifically:
• The spill notifications required under the amendments to EPCRA section 304 can be
incorporated into ERPs to improve the ability of a community water system to prepare for and
respond to a hazardous substance release into its source water.
1 Facilities are allowed to claim specific chemical identity as trade secret on their Tier II form, or state equivalent,
provided that they submit trade secret claim package to EPA according to the regulations at 40 CFR part 350.
States may request access to trade secret claims as provided in 40 CFR 350.19. Facilities are also allowed to claim
hazardous chemical storage location information confidential, if they submit the confidential location information
sheet along with their Tier II form to the SERC, LEPC and the fire department. (Note: Facilities are not allowed to
claim trade secrets under EPCRA section 304 release reporting).

• The chemical inventory data made available to community water systems under the
amendments to EPCRA section 312 can inform the risk assessment and help systems identify
potential source water contamination threats in their source water protection area or upstream
of their intakes.
Additionally, AWIA section 2013 requires community water systems to coordinate, to the extent
possible, with LEPCs or TEPCs. If a community water system does not have a Facility Emergency
Coordinator2 participating as a member of the LEPC, it should consider joining the LEPC in its area. This
can help to integrate community water systems into community emergency response planning efforts
undertaken by the LEPC or TEPC and develop pre-incident relationships that are critical to release
response. Membership in the LEPC will also facilitate access to hazardous chemical inventories
maintained by the LEPC, including the Tier II reports, but also potentially including inventories from
other sources. Finally, membership in the LEPC highlights the services of a community water system as a
vital component of the community. While membership in an LEPC is encouraged, community water
systems are not required to join their LEPC to receive notifications of releases or to access Tier II
chemical inventories.
Likewise, State drinking water primacy agency representatives should consider opportunities to more
fully participate in their SERC (or TERC). While many of these agencies are already SERC members, more
formal arrangements may be appropriate for those that are not. As SERCs are organized in different
ways across the Country, this could involve requests that the Governor amend executive orders or that
statutory changes be pursued. As these sorts of actions take time and are fraught with complexities, at
the least the State drinking water primacy agencies should establish clear communication with the SERC
(or TERC) and attend meetings.
2 EPCRA section 302 requires facility notification of the presence of any extremely hazardous substance in
excess of the substance's threshold planning quantity and EPCRA section 303 requires the facility to
appoint a Facility Emergency Coordinator who will participate in the local emergency planning process.

Key definitions
The following definitions apply to the terms used in this factsheet:
•	Applicable State Agency-the State drinking water primacy agency that has primary
responsibility to enforce the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in the State.
(Note: The website below for the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA)
provides a link to the website for each State drinking water primacy agency.)
•	Community Water Systems - a system that provides water for human consumption through
pipes or other constructed conveyances and has at least fifteen service connections or regularly
serves at least twenty-five individuals, and which serves the same population year-round (as
defined in SDWA section 1401(15)).
•	Affected Community Water System(s) - one or more community water systems (as defined in
SDWA section 1401(15)) that receives supplies of drinking water from a source water protection
area, delineated under SDWA section 1453, in which a facility that is required to prepare and
submit a Tier II chemical inventory form is located.
•	State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) - an entity designated by the Governor of each
state that is responsible for establishing LEPCs (or) TEPCs; reviewing local emergency plans;
supervising LEPC (or) TEPC activities; establishing mechanisms for collecting hazardous chemical
inventories and information on releases of chemicals from facilities; and establishing procedures
for processing public information requests.
•	Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) - an entity designated by the SERC of each state
that is responsible for preparing chemical emergency response plans; coordinating the response
to releases; serving as a nexus of information about chemical risks in the community; and
establishing procedures for processing public information requests.
•	Facility - under EPCRA, the term "facility" means all buildings, equipment, structures, and other
stationary items which are located on a single site or on contiguous or adjacent sites and which
are owned or operated by the same person (or by any person which controls, is controlled by, or
under common control with, such person). EPA expanded this definition of "facility" to include
manmade structures, as well as natural structures in which chemicals are purposefully placed or
removed through human means such that it functions as a containment structure for human
use. For purposes of section 304, the term "facility" includes motor vehicles, rolling stock, and
•	EPCRA Factsheet
•	How to Better Prepare Your Community for a Chemical Emergency: A Guide for State, Tribal arid
Local Agencies
•	EPCRA Training for States, Tribes, LEPCs, Local Planners and Responders (non-section 313)
•	EPA EPCRA Regional Contacts
•	EPA EPCRA, RMP & Oil Information Center
•	State Emergency Response Commissions Contacts
•	Local Emergency Planning Committees - contact the SERC in your state (or TERC for your tribal
area) to obtain contact information for the LEPC (or TEPC) in your area
•	Association of State Drinking Water Administrators/Resources/Links
•	America's Water Infrastructure Act: Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans
•	Source Water Collaborative