Where to locate information on chemicals at other facilities - LEPCs, TERCs, and SERCs
Sometimes a worker can be exposed from an adjacent workplace. The worker may wish to know what has the potential to adversely effect them from nearby workplaces, such as in an industrial park. Large warehouses and industrial buildings can exchange a large volume of air, and if the air is being impacted by a nearby facility, then that air can be sucked into the adjacent workplace for workers to breathe and to be exposed to. Similarly, a chemical spill, fire or release in an emergency situation, or from an accident in a nearby facility could have off-site consequences that adjacent facilities may not be prepared for. For information about facilities outside of the workplace, contact the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) [usually on the county level of government] [LINK TO LEPC LIST] or the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and ask for Tier Two Reports [LINK TO TIER TWO REPORT] and Form R Reports for the facility in question.
Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs) are another consideration for workers, LEPCs, SERCs, and fire departments. LEPCs, SERCs, and even fire departments may have to work out mutual aid agreements or information and resource-sharing agreements with Native American reservations to implement EPCRA. A SERC and LEPC will not have jurisdiction over facilities on tribal lands unless there is some form of legally-binding agreement allowing this jurisdiction.
An operator or owner of a facility on an Indian reservation may not be sure to whom the facility's chemical inventory report and facility emergency plan must be reported. It may unclear what entity is going to respond in the event of an incident involving hazardous chemicals. The public and workers may be unclear about which entity to approach for Community Right-To-Know information. If a TERC exists, it must provide access to the same EPCRA information that SERCs and LEPCs must provide.
The TERC will not likely exist already as a legal entity on an Indian reservation, because EPCRA became law after most tribal lands were designated. A tribal board or governing committee will likely have to create laws or ordinances implementing EPCRA. This also provides an opportunity for the TERC to have more stringent regulations than EPCRA. It is a bad idea for a tribe to not have a TERC or some other entity with the powers a SERC or LEPC has under EPCRA. There are proportionately more industrial facilities on tribal lands in America than on non-tribal lands, in terms of land area used and population. A TERC might be the only entity a facility would need to report to under EPCRA if the TERC fulfills the duties of a SERC, LEPC, and fire department. A TERC will usually have the combined powers given to SERCs, LEPCs, and fire departments under EPCRA.
EPA has special programs to assist TERCs.