Community Right-To-Know Act
This legislation was intended and designed to promote open communications between industries and other chemical users and the community. This allows for community wide emergency planning in case of failure of containers or misuse of chemicals that could potentially cause a community wide impact. The intent of the legislation is to monitor the quantities and hazard categories and plan accordingly. The quantities and hazards of concern could have an impact on a community-wide level if mismanaged. Releases that would impact just one building would be covered by the chemical hygiene plan for a lab or hazard communications for work spaces containing hazardous materials.
Ohio University is exempt from most of the regulation due to a technical aspect of the regulation. The regulation applies if the federal law requires users to implement a material safety data sheet program (MSDS). In Ohio University's case, MSDSs are required by the state but not by federal law and therefore we are exempt from EPCRA. Ohio University (OU) did report the chemicals that were in the quantities that required planning. The only materials in this category were the underground fuel storage. OU was proactive in this matter and eliminated the use of chlorine gas at the aquatic center and ammonia at the ice rink to reduce the community-wide risk of chemical exposure.
Ohio University's Hazardous Materials Manager is on the Athens County Local Emergency Planning Committee to assist in maintaining emergency readiness. For more detail on the program see the web page below from region IV of the USEPA.