Fire EMS, Firefighting, Hazmat

Off-Site Emergency Response Plans: A Preparedness Tool

Issue 11 and Volume 164.

BY ERIC G. BACHMAN Since the passage of the Superfund Amendment Reauthorization Act (SARA) 25 years ago, I have found that its influence on the emergency services, especially the fire service, is not very well understood. Although the SARA legislation provides a means to improve preemergency preparedness, it is not comprehensively addressed in training programs. Below, I focus on SARA’s planning component and its capabilities and limitations and reveal what it provides the emergency service community preincident. BACKGROUND In October 1986, SARA Title III, also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), was enacted. It was developed in reaction to a December 1984 incident in Bhopal, India, where an estimated 40 tons of methylisocyanate was released into the atmosphere, killing thousands and exposing more than 250,000 people. The responsible party was Union Carbide, an American-based company. Environmentalists and legislators in the United States realized that…

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