Frequent Questions

How are communities notified of hazardous waste emergencies?

If there is a hazardous waste emergency near where you live that endangers you or your family, you will be notified by the appropriate authorities immediately. In a hazardous waste emergency, every effort is made to protect the lives and health of anyone who might be affected. EPA will also establish a representative to keep the public informed and to answer questions.

If you live in a community where a hazardous waste emergency might occur due to the presence of certain kinds of chemicals and facilities, you have the right to know about that fact. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the owners and operators of these facilities are required to submit basis detailed information about the chemicals they work with to several state and local authorities on a yearly basis. Under the provisions of EPCRA, the public has the right to access this information.

To learn more about how communities and local residents are kept informed during hazardous waste emergencies, please see the "Community Involvement" section of the Emergency Response Program Web site.

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