A main focus of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know is to make information available to the public and promote participation in emergency planning. A variety of information is available.
The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was passed by the United States Congress in 1986. In 1991, the State of Delaware passed it’s own Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act which built upon the federal requirements and created a funding mechanism for emergency planning activities. These laws established a series of reporting requirements impacting facilities ranging from large industrial sites to small businesses. Facilities can be required to report a variety of information, ranging from chemicals used and stored at the site, to chemicals released to the environment.
Except for a limited number of data elements which have the potential to be claimed confidential, information contained in these reports from facilities is publicly available. Use the data and Information page to access facility and chemical information and public data sets. Use the reports and Documents link to find public reports, such as the annual Toxics Release Inventory report.
Under EPCRA, each Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) must prepare an emergency response plan for their district. The plan includes information such as potential chemical hazards, emergency response procedures, evacuation plans, and notification procedures. LEPC plans are available for public review. Contact your local Emergency Planning Committee for more information.
Although established under separate laws, federal and state Accidental Release Prevention requirements build upon the planning and preparedness foundation laid by EPCRA. The Accidental Release Prevention Program requires facilities that process, use, or store listed regulated substances to develop risk management programs and submit risk management plans. In developing risk management programs, facilities must perform a hazard assessment, establish a prevention program, and develop and implement an emergency response program. The extent to which each of these requirements must be met depends upon the program level(s) of the processes at a facility. All these activities must then be summarized in a risk management plan.
As with EPCRA information, risk management plans are available for public review. For information on accessing these plans, contact the Delaware Accidental Release Prevention Program.
The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) have started a Community Outreach Program for hazardous materials. We have the copyrights and are making available an interactive program on CD-ROM called “Fire Pal.” The basic message it provides is, “Stop, Leave it alone, Get a Grown-up!”
In this program, Ron the Fireman guides children through all the rooms of a house, pointing out hazardous materials and where they might be located. Each area contains a brief interactive quiz for children to take giving them the opportunity to point out the hidden dangers themselves. Children can visit the back yard, the park and a local gas station where Ron points out all the hidden safety hazards. The program also contains several excellent lesson plans that can be used by parents and teachers to educate children about the dangers of hazardous materials.
Additionally, we have a Kids Shelter in Place video entitled “How to Protect Yourself during a Chemical Emergency after School.” The video is less that seven minutes long and is a dramatization of what kids need to do to shelter-in-place during a chemical tanker truck accident. The family dog, Bobo, narrates the video which also covers the contents of a shelter-in-place kit.
If your school is interested in receiving copies of the CD-ROM or video tape, please fill out and return an order form and we will be happy to send them to you at no charge. Please mail your request to the address shown on the order form, or you can fax your request to 302-659-6855. If you have any questions regarding “Fire Pal” or the video, please visit call 302-659-2253.