printreg, February, 2004
Reporting Releases to EPA

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From: Debra Jacobson (
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 10:41:37

Determining whether to report a spill or release can be very confusing. The following is some guidance on when a release must be reported to EPA. This information does not eliminate the need to determine if a spill or release must be reported to local, state or other federal agencies such as DOT.

Debra Jacobson


EPA 40 CFR 355.40(a)(2) SARA Title III Release Reporting Exemptions

According to 40 CFR 355.40(a)(2), there are a number of situations that do not meet the release reporting requirements for Section 304 of SARA Title III.

These non-reportable releases include:

* A release that results in exposure to persons solely within the boundaries of the facility

* A release that is a "federally permitted release" as defined in Section 101(10) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

* A release that meets the criteria of a continuous release as defined under 40 CFR 302.8 (this section includes unique reporting requirements specific to continuous releases)


* A release that is actually the application of a Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)-registered pesticide, as defined under CERCLA Section 103(e), when used in accordance with its intended purpose

See <>

Note that 40 CFR 355.40(a)(2)(vi) contains specific qualifiers that must be met in order for releases of radionuclides to be exempt from reporting requirements. These qualifiers include releases of radionuclides that occur naturally in soil, natural releases from some land disturbance activities, activities related to coal and coal ash dumping and transportation, as well as radionuclide releases from piles of coal and coal ash. See <>

Additionally, if a release occurs during transportation, then calling either 911 or the operator (if 911 is not available) satisfies the notification requirements.

Source: Source: "reg of the day" listserv operated by Tammy Silverthorne @ the Environmental Resource Center

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