Essay: Hazardous Materials
EPCRA is a law passed by the US government to protect the locals and communities at large from the toxic and harmful results of hazardous material accidents. It is basically an emergency planning committee where the communities have a right to know and inform the local government and response teams about the potential hazards in their community.
Under EPCRA any facility that uses or stores chemicals that may cause harm to a great extent is required to inform federal and local agencies in order to avert any disaster (Pollution Prevention and Compliance Assistance for Healthcare Industry). The National Association of SARA constitutes members of State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs) and Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) Members include staff with EPCRA program responsibilities, such as health, occupational safety, first response, environmental and emergency management agencies.(National Association of SARA). The Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standard (HAZWOPER) involves the following employees: involved in clean-up operations involving hazardous substances, corrective actions involving clean-up operations at sites covered by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) , voluntary clean-up operations at sites recognized by federal, state, local, or other governmental body , emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of, hazardous substances regardless of the location of the hazard. It covers employees who are exposed to a significant threat of hazardous materials. Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) work to understand chemical hazards in the community, develop emergency plans in case of an accidental release, and look for ways to prevent chemical accidents. (OSHA) All these committees help the Hazardous material responder in preparing reports, controlling accidents involving hazardous and toxic waste and it also outlines safety guidelines for the health of workers involved in cleaning up on hazardous waste.
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