Key Provisions of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

Sections 301 to 303. Emergency Planning Local governments are required to prepare chemical emergency response plans, and to review plans at least annually. State governments are required to oversee and coordinate local planning efforts. Facilities that maintain Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) on-site in quantities greater than corresponding Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQs) must cooperate in emergency plan preparation.
Section 304. Emergency Notification Facilities must immediately report accidental releases of EHS chemicals and "hazardous substances" in quantities greater than corresponding Reportable Quantities (RQs) defined under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to state and local officials. Information about accidental chemical releases must be available to the public.

Sections 311 and 312. Community Right-to-Know Requirements Facilities manufacturing, processing, or storing designated hazardous chemicals must make Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) describing the properties and health effects of these chemicals available to state and local officials and local fire departments. Facilities must also report, to state and local officials and local fire departments, inventories of all on-site chemicals for which MSDSs exist. Information about chemical inventories at facilities and MSDSs must be available to the public.
Section 313. Toxics Release Inventory Facilities must complete and submit a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Form annually for each of the more than 600 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals that are manufactured or otherwise used above the applicable threshold quantities.

Section 322 Trade Secrets Facilities are allow to withhold the specific chemical identity from the reports filed under sections 303, 311, 312 and 313 of EPCRA if the facilities submit a claim with substantiation to EPA.