Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
Also known as Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Re-authorization Act (SARA), the EPCRA was enacted by Congress as the national legislation on community safety. This law is designed to help local communities protect public health, safety and the environment from chemical hazards. To implement EPCRA, Congress requires each state to appoint a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). SERCs are required to divide their states into emergency planning districts and to name a local emergency planning committee (LEPC) for each district.
North Dakota State Emergency Response Commission (SERC)
Statutorily provided in North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) 37-17.1-07.1(a) The state emergency response commission's responsibilities as outlined in Public Law 99-499, 42 U.S.C 11001, et seq., also referred to SARA Title III shall, in conjunction with local emergency planning committees, as appointed by the boards county commissioners, and local emergency management organizations coordinate the development and maintenance of a state hazardous chemicals preparedness and response program. It shall ensure citizens are provided emergency and hazardous chemical inventory information upon request in accordance with the state and federal laws.
North Dakota SERC Responsibilities
- Review state hazardous materials response plans annually
- Monitor the activities and membership of Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs)
- Ensure LEPCs receive and record documented reports submitted under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and provide information required by law
- Monitor resources and activities of state agencies related to respective roles and responsibilities as specified in the ND State Emergency Operations Plan (SEOP) and applicable Hazardous Materials Annex
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Division of Emergency Management
To ensure that this nation is better prepared for environmental emergencies, the EPA is working with other federal partners to prevent accidents as well as to maintain superior response capabilities. One of our roles is to provide information about response efforts, regulations, tools and research that will help the regulated community, government entities and concerned citizens prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials (NASTTPO)
NASTTPO is made up of members and staff of SERCs, Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs), LEPCs, various federal agencies and private industry. Associate members are welcome and include anyone with an interest in effective EPCRA implementation. The membership is dedicated to working together to prepare for possible emergencies and disasters involving hazardous materials, whether they are accidental releases or a result of terrorist acts.