Home Podcasts THMG050 – Laws and the Haz Mat Tech, Part II

THMG050 – Laws and the Haz Mat Tech, Part II


In this two-part series, we’ll review the laws, regulations, and standards that affect us as hazmat techs.

Complete Show Notes

4:05 The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)

  • Established due to the federal government and the public’s increased interest in hazmat
  • The CWA and CERCLA have affected how we operate for around 10 years
  • It took around 6 years for Congress to pass standards used for the state and local levels of government
  • SARA was created in 1986 and have four parts (called titles):
    • Title 1 – response and liability
    • Title 2 – miscellaneous hazardous wastes
    • Title 3 – Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know (EPCRA) act
    • Title 4 – radon gas and indoor air quality research
  • Only 2 of these really matter to us as first responders:
    • Title 1, Section 126 mandates that both OSHA and the EPA create safety, training, emergency, and follow up regulations
    • This same section contains the nexus of 29 CFR 1910.120 and 40 CFR 311, which is the EPA equivalent
  • Title 3, subtitles A and B required planning and notifications – now, state and local governments have to do 2 things:
    • Reevaluate their need for emergency response planning
    • Reevaluate the needs of their responders and the adequacy of their gear, training, and safety
  • Also required that OSHA and the EPA create and enforce safety and training requirements
  • Because hazmat incidents are handled on a local level, they can be monitored and even assisted/taken over by the federal government if necessary
  • This means all responders must be trained to a minimal level of proficiency in case of an upgrade in response

16:40 The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976

  • Enacted in 1976 in order to combat the ever-increasing amount of solid and municipal waste being generated
  • These regulations can be found in 40 CFR, parts 239 through 282
  • This law gives the EPA the authority to control a chemical from the cradle to the grave – refers to the generation, transportation, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste
  • Also the framework to regulate non-hazardous waste
  • Amended in 1986 to encompass underground tanks that store hydrocarbons

19:45 State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

  • Created when the federal government told states that their responders needed to be getting the training they needed
  • SERC is the state level regulation that allowed states to supervise how state and local governments would interact with emergency services in the event of an emergency
  • LEPC is the local level regulation that needed to do the following:
    • Identify the hazmat facilities and travel routes
    • Prepare response procedures for facilities, emergency responders, and medical personnel
    • Designate community and facility emergency response coordinators
    • Provide for the timely release of detection and notification procedures
    • Assist in the development of evacuation plans, training programs, and planned exercises
  • In essence, 49 CFR 1910.120 OSHA and 40 CFR 311 EPA are basically identical

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