An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Are written follow-up notifications required after the initial telephone notifications?

When a facility releases a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance, are there any requirements for written follow-up notification, after the initial telephone notifications, under EPCRA or CERCLA?

Under EPCRA, an owner or operator must provide a written follow-up emergency notice setting forth and updating the information provided under the initial telephone notification.  This notice must include information about the actions taken to respond to and contain the release, known or anticipated health risks associated with the release, and any appropriate advice regarding medical attention necessary for exposed individuals (40 CFR §355.40(b)). 

CERCLA does not require any written follow-up notice to the National Response Center after the initial telephone notification.  CERCLA does contain a statutory provision that requires the owner or operator of any vessel or facility from which a hazardous substance has been released to “provide reasonable notice to potential injured parties by publication in local newspapers serving the affected area” (CERCLA §111(g)).