University Safety and Assurances

SARA Title III Right-To-Know

What is SARA Title III?

The Emergency Planning & Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) was passed by Congress as part of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 also known as "SARA Title III".

The act created a program with two basic goals:

  1. to increase public knowledge of and access to information on the presence of toxic chemicals in communities, releases of toxic chemicals into the environment, and waste management activities involving toxic chemicals; and
  2. to encourage and support planning for responding to environmental emergencies.

The program brings industry, government and the general public together to address emergency planning for accidental chemical releases. The emergency planning aspect requires communities to prepare for hazardous chemical releases through emergency planning. This provides essential information for emergency responders and creates a database of hazardous chemical storage information for the community. The community right-to-know aspect increases public awareness of chemical hazards in their community and allows the public and local governments to obtain information about these chemical hazards.

EPCRA has four main requirements:

Section 302/303 Emergency Planning for Chemical Releases
Section 304 Emergency Release Notification
Section 311/312 Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reporting
Section 313 Toxic Chemical Release Reporting


WI Act 342, the Hazardous Substances Information and Emergency Planning Act, was signed into law on April 21, 1988. It implemented EPCRA in the State of Wisconsin. The requirements are stated at s. 166.20, Wis. Stats. The State Emergency Response Board (SERB) oversees the program at the state level.

Each Wisconsin county is designated as an emergency planning district and has a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to administer the local program. LEPC membership includes local elected officials, members of emergency response agencies (fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services, health, etc.) and representatives for transportation, public works, the media, community groups, environmental groups, and operators of affected facilities.

LEPC's are responsible for receiving and maintaining filings of facility submissions. They also maintain a county-wide emergency response plan, develop and maintain facilities, off-site emergency response plans and the county's hazard analysis for both fixed facilities and transportation. LEPC's assess the county hazmat response resources and equipment, respond to public requests for information under the "community right-to-know" law, and conduct hazmat training and exercises.

The Milwaukee County emergency response plan includes: the county hazard analysis summary, a list of facilities storing hazardous materials, identification of transportation routes for extremely hazardous substances (EHS), procedures for notification or releases, response to releases, procedures for sheltering and evacuation, and a schedule for training and exercising.

Individual facility off-site plans include: facility name and location, name of facility emergency planning coordinator with 24hr. contact phone number, list of primary emergency responders, list of resources available from/at facility, list of outside resources available, hazard analysis of the facility with a vulnerability zone for release of EHS stored at facility, identification of special facilities (i.e., schools, hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers, etc.) within the zone, population protection procedures (sheltering and evacuation) and attachments.

For additional information, please see The State of Wisconsin Department of Emergency Management's page regarding hazardous materials planning and reporting.

Please Note: Questions regarding hazardous materials other than at UWM should be directed to your local municipality. In Milwaukee County, contact the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) at (414) 277-6368 for information on hazardous waste collection sites, or (414) 225-2066 for information on mobile collection sites.

For additional information on hazardous materials in your community or emergency planning and preparedness for accidental hazardous material releases, contact the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) in your county. In Milwaukee County, contact MCLEPC at 278-4709.

Source: MCLEPC press release for Hazardous Materials Awareness Week, 2/25/1998.


Chemical Waste Minimization at UWM

Chemical recycling and waste minimization isn't only good for the environment, it also saves the campus money!

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