Hazconnect Helps SERCs Do More with Less by Automating EPCRA Compliance Tasks

Compliance may be conducted centrally at the SERC level, by the individual LEPCs or Fire Departments, or as a combined effort at multiple levels of government. Hazconnect incorporates a wide range of features to streamline this process, reducing the total time for compliance follow-ups and ensuring higher rates of EPCRA compliance every year.

For facilities reporting online, a clean, user-friendly submission process and hundreds of rule validations ensure that the data entered meets the EPCRA statute from the first time it is entered, saving dozens of hours of follow-ups and corrections. Clear instructions and an intuitive process walk users through the steps of creating a submission. Dropdown boxes limit inaccurate responses and ensure consistency in data. Built-in checks catch errors as facilities compile their reports. As an example, acceptable values for latitude and longitude can be set based on the state or jurisdiction boundary. Numerous other data checks, such as checks for conflicts between storage types, pressure and temperature conditions, and physical and health hazards for a substance, alert users to verify and correct the information entered. These data quality checks are customizable, and can be incorporated for any state or local data elements beyond the federal requirements. Users are prompted to correct identified errors before being allowed to proceed with the report. All mandatory items must be completed, and required attachments included.

A Bulk Email or Form Letter Notification feature makes reminders and communication to all or specific users easy. The Notifications Module makes compliance easier. The system has a built-in notification capability, which can send notices, letters, announcements, and alerts by email, or generate letters and mailing labels. There are preconfigured types of notifications, or notices can be customized. They can be sent to predefined sets of facilities, or facilities can be selected. For example, reminders about upcoming compliance deadlines can be sent to all businesses in a few clicks. If deadlines are missed, notices can be sent alerting operators. The notifications capability is very powerful for easily following up on facilities in bulk, in small groups based on their issue type or geographic area, or individually.

Easily searchable activity logs make it easy to follow the status of any facility in question. If they have been contacted to submit a report, these logs can show when or if the facility has logged in, and what they have been working on for that particular facility. This can be very useful in following up on facility reporting issues.

The Search and Query capabilities in the system allow for easy Chemical Searches, EHS checks, PFAS checks, DHS CFATS facility identification and more. What was previously a tedious research project is simplified and available to analyze with a few clicks. Facilities with a particular substance of concern, or perhaps a specific process type, can be identified and sent specific outreach materials. These are just some of the many possibilities.

The Compliance Module offers additional capabilities for those interested in an expanded focus on compliance activities. Specific compliance issues can be documented and tracked. Inspections can assigned and tracked, with results documented. Associated correspondence with the facility can be conducted through the system and maintained. Used together, these features are powerful tools to increase compliance and increase emergency preparedness in case of a chemical disaster.

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