Hazardous Materials

Chemical wastes that contaminate the soil, seep into groundwater, or run into rivers and streams are a threat to public health and the environment. Photo processing chemicals, military munitions, lead paints, residuals from the petroleum industry, medical waste and used oil are all considered hazardous materials.

Most spills happen on highways as truckers transport materials. When a spill is reported, hazmat teams are sent to quickly contain and clean up the waste.

Chemical Accident Prevention Program

The Chemical Accident Prevention Program builds upon existing requirements established in the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The new program requires regulated facilities submit a Risk Management Plan that summarizes their release prevention program, emergency response program and potential impacts from an accidental release. To determine if which homes, schools or businesses are located in vulnerable areas, contact the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), call the EPA hotline at (800) 424-9346 or check the Vulnerable Zone Indicator System.

Knowing what chemical risks are nearby helps individuals and businesses protect their families and property, hold facilities responsible for reducing risk, and increases awareness of chemical safety. To help protect your community, participate in your Local Emergency Planning Committee.


To Report a Chemical Spill
NC Emergency Operations Center 800-858-0368
National Response Center 800-424-8802
NC EPCRA Support 919-436-2746
US EPA Hotline 800-424-9346

The Chemical Accident Prevention Program’s rule requires regulated facilities to coordinate emergency response with local responders. Coordination depends on whether or not the facility has an on-site emergency response team.

Facilities without on-site emergency response team:

  • coordinate with local first responders to ensure they are prepared to respond to any emergency at facility
  • ensure covered toxic chemicals are included in community emergency plan
  • coordinate emergency response to covered flammable chemicals with local fire department

Facilities with on-site emergency response team:

  • develop emergency response plan including public/emergency responder notification, emergency medical treatment and emergency response procedures (plan must be coordinated with community emergency response plan)
  • document training, emergency equipment maintenance and plan revisions

Right to Know

Information about chemical risks provides citizens and businesses with the knowledge to protect their families and property, hold facilities responsible for reducing risk, and increase awareness of chemical safety.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, known as EPCRA, requires facilities to submit information about annual releases of toxic chemicals. That information is available from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory.To find out if your home, school or business is located in a vulnerable area of a potential accidental release, contact your county emergency manager.

Regional Response Teams

The NC Hazardous Materials Regional Response program is a system of seven teams located around the state to provide hazardous materials response services. Whenever an incident exceeds local capabilities, the RRTs are available to respond  with technical support, manpower or specialized supplies. If an incident commander or local emergency management coordinator is on the scene of a spill involving a suspected or known hazardous material, and has a technical question, the local RRT may be contacted by telephone for information.

Due to the chemical properties and hazards of the substance, or the potential for exposure to humans or animals, or damage to the environment, the RRT contact may recommend an emergency response by the RRT. If this is agreed on, the incident commander or local emergency management coordinator must contact the State Emergency Operations Center to place a formal request for the RRT.

Requests for RRTs should be made to the state Emergency Operations Center (1-800-858-0368) by the incident commander, local emergency management coordinator, or the N.C. Emergency Management Division’s area coordinator.

If the substance is unknown or is considered to be an extremely hazardous substance and is leaking out of its container, the RRTs are authorized to respond immediately. Response to other known substances must first be approved by the appropriate state officials.

Responsible Party

Clean-up of the material, and restoration of the site is the obligation of the responsible party. The Regional Response Team and/or representatives from the N.C. Division of Water Quality or N.C. Division of Waste Management may provide guidance on how to select a cleanup contractor. If a responsible party has either not been identified, or is unwilling to take responsibility for the clean-up, the local emergency management coordinator, in conjunction with Water Quality and Waste Management representatives may authorize cleanup to begin. Reimbursement for costs associated with the local response and recovery may be submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency under their Local Government Reimbursement program.


Emergency Preparedness and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA)
Adam Ryan, Program Coordinator    919-436-2746  or epcra@ncdps.gov

Regional Response Team 
Justin Graney, RRT Coordinator   919-825-2286 or justin.graney@ncdps.gov

Risk Management Program 
Thomas Steelman, Program Coordinator  919-825-2531 thomas.steelman@ncdps.gov


This information was taken directly from the website: https://www.ncdps.gov/our-organization/emergency-management/hazardous-materials