The summer severe weather season is upon us, with tornados, flash floods, and hurricanes possible depending on specific location. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) reminds facility operators of requirements for preventing, minimizing, and reporting chemical releases.
Facility operators are obligated to maintain safety, minimize releases that do occur, and report chemical or oil releases and discharges in a timely manner, as required under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.
The USEPA reminds operators to prepare for hazardous weather in the following ways:
- Review procedures for shutting down processes and securing facilities appropriately—especially hazardous chemical storage—or otherwise implement appropriate safe operating procedures.
- Review updated State-Federal guidelines for flooding preparedness, available here.
- Ensure all employees are familiar with requirements and procedures to contact the National Response Center in case a spill or release occurs.
- Review local response contacts, including Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) and State Emergency Response Centers (SERCs). A list of these contacts by state is available here.
In the event of a hazardous weather incident, please visit the USEPA Natural Disaster webpage for updated emergency information.