In 1986, in the wake of the Bhopal, India disaster, the U.S. Congress enacted the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act as part of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA). This Act (PL 99-499) requires industry to provide information to local governments and citizens on the types and amounts of hazardous materials they manufacture, store, handle, use or release regularly into the environment (In Wake County and the State of North Carolina, the reportable quantities are 55 gallons or 500 pounds or more of any OSHA Hazardous Substance; for Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS), the Federal reportable quantities apply. Submission, of an annual Tier II report, of any chemicals which meet or exceed these amounts, satisfies the Federal, State and local reporting requirements). The intent of the Act was that, with this important information, communities could take steps to reduce the risk of fires, explosions, and pollution and be better prepared for emergencies before they occur.
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