For failing to notify the National Response Center (NRC) of a reportable discharge of a hazardous substance, a Houston-based oil and gas company will pay $400,000 to Federal and State environmental agencies and serve a two-year probation term. CERCLA Release Reporting Requirements
Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), facilities must notify the National Response Center immediately of a release of hazardous substance in excess of the thresholds set by statute. The reporting requirement is also codified in US Law, at 33 U.S.C. §1321 – Oil and hazardous substance liability.
The threshold for reporting under CERLCA is once a “reportable quantity,” or RQ, of the material has been released. For most hazardous substances, the RQ ranges from 1 to 5,000 pounds. A complete list of reportable quantities under CERCLA can be found at 40 CFR 302.4.
For more information on when CERCLA reporting is required, and who must report, read Release Reporting Requirements—CERCLA vs. EPCRA
Reporting releases is a complex part of managing hazardous chemicals, hazardous substances, and hazardous wastes, especially because the thresholds for reporting—and who receives the report— vary depending on a number of factors: what kind of material was released, how much was released, and more.
Some releases require reporting within 30 days, some require reporting within 24 hours, some require immediate reporting, and others require no report at all. Reports for different types of releases may be directed to State or regional EPA officials, Federal US EPA, local emergency planners and responders, the National Response Center, or other bodies.
If you need to report a hazardous substance release to the National Response Center, call 800-424-8802. Read the Department of Justice press release announcing the enforcement action here. Interactive, Engaging EPA Workshops
Build confidence working with the many of EPA programs that affect your site—from the Clean Air Act to the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, EPCRA, CERCLA, TSCA, FIFRA, and more! Presented by dedicated, full-time instructors in cities nationwide, the Complete Environmental Regulations Workshop
will help you identify the EPA programs that apply to your site, keep your operations in compliance, and avoid civil penalties up to $37,500 per day, per violation.