1. Section 301 of SARA required each State to establish an Emergency Response
Commission by April 17, 1987. These commissions were responsible for establishing emergency
planning districts and for appointing, supervising, and coordinating LEPCs.
2. Under section 302, EPA is required to publish a list of extremely hazardous substances and
threshold planning quantities (TPQ) for such substances. This list is published in Title 40 CFR,
part 355, appendix A. Since this list will be subject to periodic change, it has not been included
in this publication. The facility's Environmental Officer will be consulted for assistance in
determining items applicable to a particular facility. This list is intended to help communities
focus on the substances and facilities of the most immediate concern for emergency planning and
response. The act requires any facility that has an extremely hazardous substance in an amount
exceeding the TPQ to notify the State commission.
3. Section 303 of the Act governs the development of comprehensive emergency response
plans by LEPCs and provision of information to the committee. The LEPC was responsible for
completing an emergency plan meeting the requirements of section 303 by October 17, 1988.
Under section 303(d), facilities subject to emergency planning must designate a representative
who will participate in the local emergency planning effort as an emergency response
coordinator. Facilities are required by statute to provide the committee with information relevant
to development or implementation of the local response plan. This information includes
inventories of extremely hazardous substances and MSDSs.
4. Section 304 establishes requirements for the immediate reporting of certain releases of
hazardous substances to the LEPC and the State Emergency Response Commission; the
requirements are similar to the release reporting provisions of CERCLA. Follow-up reports are
also required, including the effects of the release and the response action taken.
5. Sections 311/312 establish the requirement for community right-to-know provisions which
provides for public access to information submitted under these sections. Specifically, section
311 is the one-time submission of either the MSDSs or a listing of the MSDSs for all hazardous
chemicals present at the facility at any one time in amounts equal to or greater than 10,000
pounds and for all extremely hazardous substances at the facility in an amount greater than 500
pounds or the Threshold Planning Quantity, whichever is lower. Revisions to this submission
must be made within three months after discovery of significant new information concerning the
hazardous chemical or if new hazardous chemicals arrive on the facility. Section 312 provides
for the annual submission by 1 March of the Tier I or Tier II hazardous chemical inventory
reports. This information identifies the location, amounts, and methods of storage of hazardous
chemicals stored on a facility and supplements the data provided under section 311.
6. Section 313 establishes a procedure for the collection of information on releases of
hazardous materials to all environmental media. This supports state and local planning efforts
and identifies environmental "hot spots" or areas of greater pollution. The section applies to
facilities, with the equivalent of 10 or more full time employees, that manufacture (including
import), or process 25,000 pounds or more per year or otherwise use 10,000 or more pounds per
year of any of the toxic chemicals listed in 40 CFR 372.65. If one of these thresholds are
exceeded, the facility is required to submit an EPA Form R for that toxic chemical.