Spill Reporting and Emergency Response

Owners or operators of facilities or vessels that release a hazardous substance or toxic chemical into the environment above the reportable quantity are subject to state notification requirements under the HEER Office legal authorities including the Hawai‘i Environmental Response Law (HRS 128D), the Hawai‘i State Contingency Plan (HAR 11-451), and the Hawai‘i Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (HEPCRA) (HRS 128E and HAR 11-453). Contact information and guidelines for determining notification requirements and contact information for release reporting are provided below.

Information to Provide

Verbal notification is required via telephone or in person. The HEER Office will not accept initial notification via email/fax. To the best of your ability, try to be ready with the following information:

  • Your name and telephone number
  • Name of the hazardous substance spilled
  • Approximate quantity spilled
  • Location of the spill
  • Date and time of the spill
  • Description of how it happened
  • Immediate danger or threat posed by the release
  • Contact information for the responsible party
  • Measures taken or proposed to be taken to cleanup the spill
  • Any known injuries resulting from exposure
  • Other county, state or federal officials that were also notified

A written follow-up notice regarding the release is also required to be sent to the HSERC and LEPC contacts noted above, postmarked no later than 30 days after initial discovery of the release. An information request form for the written follow-up notice is provided in the Hazardous Substance Release Notification Guidelines and Notification Form link above. The information requested on this form is the same information that you will be asked to provide when the initial verbal notification is made.

Immediate Notification Requirements

The owner or operator of a facility or vessel must immediately notify the Hawai‘i State Emergency Response Commission (HSERC)/HEER Office and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) of the appropriate jurisdiction after the release of:

  • A listed substance designated under Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (HAR) section 11-451-5(b), in quantities equal to or exceeding the reportable quantity criteria in section 11-451-6(b) in any 24-hour period; or
  • An unlisted substance designated under section 11-451-5(c), in quantities equal to or exceeding the reportable quantity criteria in section 11-451-6(c) in any 24-hour period.

Reportable Quantities (RQ) List

A list of reportable hazardous substance release quantities (sorted by chemical name) is provided in Appendix 2-D of the online Technical Guidance Manual (TGM).

[NOTE – The HSERC and HEER Office are listed together because the HSERC is housed within the HEER Office for administrative purposes. Therefore, by contacting the HEER Office, you will have also contacted the HSERC.]

Numbers to Call

Immediate notification to the HSERC/HEER Office, the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) for your jurisdiction, and the National Response Center (NRC) is required for covered releases of hazardous substances. Please note that if there is an immediate threat to human welfare or fatalities, call 9-1-1. A spill reporting contact list is included in the Hazardous Substance Release Notification Contacts Information link provided above.

Emergency Plans

The State of Hawai'i Oil and Hazardous Substance Emergency Response Plan is a supplement to the State of Hawai'i Plan for Emergency Preparedness, Volume III, Disaster Response Assistance. This plan also serves as Annex 1530-1 to the Hawaiian Area Contingency Plan Library. An update of this plan is expected in 2011.