EPA continues enforcement actions against numerous companies for failing to “immediately” notify the National Response Center of the release of reportable quantities (RQs) of hazardous substances.
EPA’s recent increased enforcement serves as a reminder that companies must have an emergency management plan in place to immediately evaluate (1) whether there has been a release of a hazardous substance subject to the rules and (2) if the release was in a quantity that triggers immediate reporting obligations. Failure to report in a timely manner can lead to costly six-figure civil fines and possibly criminal penalties.
If there is a release of a hazardous substance that exceeded an RQ, the facility must immediately notify government response agencies under CERCLA 103(a) and EPCRA 304(a). EPA takes the position that a report must be made within 15 minutes of discovery of the release to satisfy the requirement for immediate notification.
INFO: Contact the EPCRA Call Center at 800-424-9346.