Overview of SARA Title III

SARA Title III (Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986), also know as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), was passed in response to concerns regarding the environmental and safety hazards posed by the storage and handling of toxic chemicals. These concerns were triggered by the disaster in Bhopal, India, in which more than 2,000 people suffered death or serious injury from the accidental release of methyl isocyanine. To reduce the likelihood of such a disaster in the United States, Congress imposed requirements on both states and regulated facilities. 

SARA Title III establishes requirements for Federal, State and local governments, Indian Tribes, and industry regarding emergency planning and “Community Right-to-Know” reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. The Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase the public’s knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses and releases into environment. States and communities, working with facilities, can use the information to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment. 

SARA Title III (EPCRA) has four major provisions: 

  • Emergency Planning 
  • Emergency release notification 
  • Hazardous chemical storage reporting requirements 
  • Toxic chemical release inventory