Environmental Statutes and Treaties

Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA)

What does the EPCRA do?

  • Requires reporting of toxic releases in the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
  • Encourages response for chemical releases

a NATIONAL Act that Federal, state, local govt., tribes, and industries participate in

Established 1984...Why?

During the early morning hours of December 3, 1984, a Union Carbide plant in a village just South of Bhopal, India released approximately forty tons of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) into the air. Used in the manufacture of pesticides, MIC is a lethal chemical. The gas quickly and silently diffused over the ground and, in the end, killed, by some estimates, upwards to 5,000 people and injured 50,000 more.

Amended: 1987, 1998, 2008, 2009, 2012

Successes and Strengths

  • Prevents disasters
  • Informs/alerts when maximum amount of chemicals is released
  • Allows public to know of potential dangers
  • A nation wide prevention method

Failure and Weaknesses

  • It is just nation wide. (Should be international)
  • The max level is considered high
  • Not enough warning time


  • Make it an international act to prevent toxic moving over seas
  • Revise every 5 years instead of when disasters occur
  • Have companies regulate their toxic release.