May 25, 2011

EPA Officials Advise Operators to Minimize Releases During Hazardous Weather

Facility operators are reminded to minimize chemical releases in the event of storms

As hurricane season approaches, EPA officials are issuing a Hazardous Weather Release Prevention and Reporting alert to remind facility operators of certain regulations that require minimization of chemical releases during process shutdown operations. This alert is designed to increase awareness among facility operators about their obligation to operate facilities safely and report chemical releases in a timely manner.

The alert specifies operational release minimization requirements and clarifies reporting requirements, including exemptions. Unlike some natural disasters, the onset of a hurricane is predictable and allows for early preparations to lessen its effect on a facility. Before hurricane force winds and associated storm surge flooding damage industrial processes, the alert recommends that operators take preventive action by safely shutting down processes, or otherwise operate safely under emergency procedures.

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