EPA issues industrial-readiness alert ahead of hurricane season
The alert aims to boost awareness among facility operators about their legal obligation to operate facilities safely and report chemical releases in a timely manner.
This alert specifically addresses these requirements in the case of a hurricane because of early-warning signs that give industrial operating facilities additional time to prepare for a storm. Depending on conditions, operators can either safely shut down operations or continue operating under emergency protocols.
Under Section 103 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, facilities are required to notify the National Response Center if any hazardous substance has been released that is over a predetermined quantity threshold.
Overall, the Clean Air Act requires that owners and operators of industrial facilities act responsibly to ensure that accidental releases of certain substances are prevented as much as they are physically able to do so. They also said that in all cases — especially a start-up, shutdown or a malfunction — the facility should be operating and maintained in a way that is consistent with safety measures and air pollution control practices to minimize pollutants.