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FOUNDATIONAL LEARNING
EPCRA: Public access to information
  • All plans, data sheets, forms, and notices must be accessible to the general public during normal working hours at specifically designated locations in each state.
  • Each LEPC must annually publish a notice of availability in the local newspapers when all the data and reports have been collected.

The purpose of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) is to provide for the collection, compilation, and dissemination of data critical to emergency planning and community awareness. In accordance with EPCRA's purpose, Section 324 of the Act specifically outlines the public availability of emergency plans, safety data sheets (SDSs) or material safety data sheets (MSDS), inventory forms, and emergency follow-up notices.

First, all plans, data sheets, forms, and notices must be accessible to the general public during normal working hours at specifically designated locations in each state. These locations are named by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, state governor, State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), or Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) depending on the structure of each state program.

Second, each LEPC must annually publish a notice of availability in the local newspapers when all the data and reports have been collected. All EPCRA information not otherwise protected by a trade secrecy claim must be made available to the public.