Release Reporting

In the event hazardous or toxic chemicals are released into a local atmosphere, action must be taken. Among other things, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) has provisions for the proper reporting and planning for chemical emergencies at the federal, state and local government levels. The EPA requires local governments to develop and annually review emergency response plans while state governments must oversee and coordinate local efforts. Additionally, the “right-to-know” or reporting requirements ensure that the public has access to information on hazardous chemicals being manufactured, processed or stored in local facilities.

Troutman Sanders Environmental and Natural Resources lawyers have substantial experience in this arena. We have counseled policymakers on how to implement EPCRA soundly and efficiently and we have advised numerous industrial clients on compliance with the law. For example, we are currently assisting members of the Virginia General Assembly in developing and drafting a variety of methods for increasing public information regarding environmental conditions and citizen participation in the permitting process for most environmental media.

We counsel chemical manufacturers, utilities, telecommunication companies, rendering plants and food product companies on compliance matters, including EPA enforcement actions for alleged EPCRA violations.

Representative Experience

  • Negotiated a consent order on behalf a major petroleum refiner. It contained a penalty assessment significantly lower than initially sought by EPA for alleged violations of EPCRA § 304 release reporting requirements; EPA claimed that our client failed to report the sulfur dioxide component of facility air emissions.
  • Worked with numerous national industry groups in preparing comments challenging EPA's "federally-permitted release" policy.
  • Represented a telecommunications company in an EPA enforcement action involving the failure to identify and report sulfuric acid present in batteries stored at emergency generation stations. EPA ultimately fined several telecommunications companies, but not our clients.
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