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Last Updated: 2010-01-11

Chemicals and Your Obligations Under the Law

Chemical Reporting and Community Right-to-Know

Did you know that just having certain chemicals on your industrial or commercial facility site (even if you don't release them to the environment) may subject you to reporting requirements under an environmental law?

Under Section 312 of that law (known as Superfund Amendments or Reauthorization Act (SARA) or Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)), you may be required to notify the City and the State annually of the presence of any hazardous chemical present on site in quantities more than 10,000 pounds. In addition, for more than 300 particularly hazardous chemicals, you may be required to notify these same agencies even if much smaller quantities (ranging from 1 pound to 5000 pounds) are present on site.

One example of a chemical that must be reported at much lower levels is ammonia, which is frequently used in chilling and refrigeration systems. It must be reported if more than 500 pounds is present at a location. Other examples are chlorine (100 pounds) and sulfuric acid (commonly used as battery acid) at 1000 pounds.

Although the information provided under SARA 313 is primarily used in emergency planning, the information is also public information. Therefore, it is available to the public on request.

Discharges to Sewers in Richmond and Surrounding Counties

In addition to SARA reporting, industrial and commercial facilities in the City of Richmond and surrounding counties may be required to obtain a permit to discharge wastewater. A permit may be required if the wastewater contains contaminants other than those found in ordinary household wastewater or in quantities or concentrations greater than those found in domestic wastewater. Pollutants that might be of concern include chemicals with local limits (such as heavy metals), oil, and grease.

The potential impact of releases of materials stored on site may be minimized by various spill prevention techniques and other pollution prevention measures. One of these methods is diking (also known as berming) of areas in which potential liquid pollutants such as gasoline or diesel fuel are stored, loaded, and/or unloaded.

Additional Information

If you would like additional information on these subjects, the following web pages provide additional information on these requirements. Phone numbers for general information on these subjects are also included.

LEPC's (Local Emergency Planning Committees)

City of Richmond (804)646-6660


Henrico County

SARA Information - State and Federal Resources

Wastewater Treatment

City of Richmond The City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities Wastewater Treatment and Collection page contains additional information on wastewater treatment. It is at Wastewater treatment and Collection.

Pollution Prevention and Pretreatment One document giving general information on Pollution Prevention and its applications in pretreatment is located at http://www.epa.gov

Tier II Reporting

Contact Information:

Fire Department
City of Richmond
201 E. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Phone: (804)646-2500

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