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Executive Order #12856:
Federal Compliance With Right-To-Know Laws
And Pollution Prevention Requirements




THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary



For Immediate Release
August 4, 1993



Executive Order
#12856
- - - - - -

Federal Compliance With Right-To-Know Laws And
Pollution Prevention Requirements



Whereas, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 11001-11050) (Epcra) established programs to provide the public with important information on the hazardous and toxic chemicals in their communities, and established emergency planning and notification requirements to protect the public in the event of a release of extremely hazardous substances;

Whereas, the Federal Government should be a good neighbor to local communities by becoming a leader in providing information to the public concerning toxic and hazardous chemicals and extremely hazardous substances at Federal facilities, and in planning for and preventing harm to the public through the planned or unplanned releases of chemicals;

Whereas, the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 13101-13109) (Ppa) established that it is the national policy of the United States that, whenever feasible, pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source; that pollution that cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner; that pollution that cannot be prevented or recycled should be treated in an environmentally safe manner; and that disposal or other release into the environment should be employed only as a last resort and should be conducted in an environmentally safe manner;

Whereas, the Ppa required the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Epa) to promote source reduction practices in other agencies;

Whereas, the Federal Government should become a leader in the field of pollution prevention through the management of its facilities, its acquisition practices, and in supporting the development of innovative pollution prevention programs and technologies;

Whereas, the environmental, energy, and economic benefits of energy and water use reductions are very significant; the scope of innovative pollution prevention programs must be broad to adequately address the highest-risk environmental problems and to take full advantage of technological opportunities in sectors other than industrial manufacturing; the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-486 of October 24, 1992) requires the Secretary of Energy to work with other Federal agencies to significantly reduce the use of energy and reduce the related environmental impacts by promoting use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies; and

Whereas, as the largest single consumer in the Nation, the Federal Government has the opportunity to realize significant economic as well as environmental benefits of pollution prevention;

And In Order To:

Ensure that all Federal agencies conduct their facility management and acquisition activities so that, to the maximum extent practicable, the quantity of toxic chemicals entering any wastestream, including any releases to the environment, is reduced as expeditiously as possible through source reduction; that waste that is generated is recycled to the maximum extent practicable; and that any wastes remaining are stored, treated or disposed of in a manner protective of public health and the environment;

Require Federal agencies to report in a public manner toxic chemicals entering any wastestream from their facilities, including any releases to the environment, and to improve local emergency planning, response, and accident notification; and

Help encourage markets for clean technologies and safe alternatives to extremely hazardous substances or toxic chemicals through revisions to specifications and standards, the acquisition and procurement process, and the testing of innovative pollution prevention technologies at Federal facilities or in acquisitions;

Now Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Epcra, the Ppa, and section 301 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Applicability.

1-101. As delineated below, the head of each Federal agency is responsible for ensuring that all necessary actions are taken for the prevention of pollution with respect to that agency's activities and facilities, and for ensuring that agency's compliance with pollution prevention and emergency planning and community right-to-know provisions established pursuant to all implementing regulations issued pursuant to Epcra and Ppa.

1-102. Except as otherwise noted, this order is applicable to all Federal agencies that either own or operate a "facility" as that term is defined in section 329(4) of Epcra, if such facility meets the threshold requirements set forth in Epcra for compliance as modified by section 3-304(b) of this order ("covered facilities"). Except as provided in section 1-103 and section 1-104 below, each Federal agency must apply all of the provisions of this order to each of its covered facilities, including those facilities which are subject, independent of this order, to the provisions of Epcra and Ppa (e.g., certain Government-owned/contractor-operated facilities (Goco's), for chemicals meeting Epcra thresholds). This order does not apply to Federal agency facilities outside the customs territory of the United States, such as United States diplomatic and consular missions abroad.

1-103. Nothing in this order alters the obligations which Goco's and Government corporation facilities have under Epcra and Ppa independent of this order or subjects such facilities to Epcra or Ppa if they are otherwise excluded. However, consistent with section 1-104 below, each Federal agency shall include the releases and transfers from all such facilities when meeting all of the Federal agency's responsibilities under this order.

1-104. To facilitate compliance with this order, each Federal agency shall provide, in all future contracts between the agency and its relevant contractors, for the contractor to supply to the Federal agency all information the Federal agency deems necessary for it to comply with this order. In addition, to the extent that compliance with this order is made more difficult due to lack of information from existing contractors, Federal agencies shall take practical steps to obtain the information needed to comply with this order from such contractors.

Sec. 2-2. Definitions.

2-201. All definitions found in Epcra and Ppa and implementing regulations are incorporated in this order by reference, with the following exception: for the purposes of this order, the term "person", as defined in section 329(7) of Epcra, also includes Federal agencies.

2-202. Federal agency means an Executive agency, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105. For the purpose of this order, military departments, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 102, are covered under the auspices of the Department of Defense.

2-203. Pollution Prevention means "source reduction," as defined in the Ppa, and other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollutants through: (a) increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water, or other resources; or (b) protection of natural resources by conservation.

2-204. Goco means a Government-owned/contractor-operated facility which is owned by the Federal Government but all or portions of which are operated by private contractors.

2-205. Administrator means the Administrator of the Epa.

2-206. Toxic Chemical means a substance on the list described in section 313(c) of Epcra.

2-207. Toxic Pollutants. For the purposes of section 3-302(a) of this order, the term "toxic pollutants" shall include, but is not necessarily limited to, those chemicals at a Federal facility subject to the provisions of section 313 of Epcra as of December 1, 1993. Federal agencies also may choose to include releases and transfers of other chemicals, such as "extremely hazardous chemicals" as defined in section 329(3) of Epcra, hazardous wastes as defined under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (42 U.S.C. 6901-6986) (Rcra), or hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act Amendments (42 U.S.C. 7403-7626); however, for the purposes of establishing the agency's baseline under 3-302(c), such "other chemicals" are in addition to (not instead of) the section 313 chemicals. The term "toxic pollutants" does not include hazardous waste subject to remedial action generated prior to the date of this order.

Sec. 3-3. Implementation.

3-301. Federal Agency Strategy. Within 12 months of the date of this order, the head of each Federal agency must develop a written pollution prevention strategy to achieve the requirements specified in sections 3-302 through 3-305 of this order for that agency. A copy thereof shall be provided to the Administrator. Federal agencies are encouraged to involve the public in developing the required strategies under this order and in monitoring their subsequent progress in meeting the requirements of this order. The strategy shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following elements: (a) A pollution prevention policy statement, developed by each Federal agency, designating principal responsibilities for development, implementation, and evaluation of the strategy. The statement shall reflect the Federal agency's commitment to incorporate pollution prevention through source reduction in facility management and acquisition, and it shall identify an individual responsible for coordinating the Federal agency's efforts in this area.

(b) A commitment to utilize pollution prevention through source reduction, where practicable, as the primary means of achieving and maintaining compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local environmental requirements.

3-302. Toxic Chemical Reduction Goals. (a) The head of each Federal agency subject to this order shall ensure that the agency develops voluntary goals to reduce the agency's total releases of toxic chemicals to the environment and off-site transfers of such toxic chemicals for treatment and disposal from facilities covered by this order by 50 percent by December 31, 1999. To the maximum extent practicable, such reductions shall be achieved by implementation of source reduction practices.

(b) The baseline for measuring reductions for purposes of achieving the 50 percent reduction goal for each Federal agency shall be the first year in which releases of toxic chemicals to the environment and off-site transfers of such chemicals for treatment and disposal are publicly reported. The baseline amount as to which the 50 percent reduction goal applies shall be the aggregate amount of toxic chemicals reported in the baseline year for all of that Federal agency's facilities meeting the threshold applicability requirements set forth in section 1-102 of this order. In no event shall the baseline be later than the 1994 reporting year.

(c) Alternatively, a Federal agency may choose to achieve a 50 percent reduction goal for toxic pollutants. In such event, the Federal agency shall delineate the scope of its reduction program in the written pollution prevention strategy that is required by section 3-301 of this order. The baseline for measuring reductions for purposes of achieving the 50 percent reduction requirement for each Federal agency shall be the first year in which releases of toxic pollutants to the environment and off-site transfers of such chemicals for treatment and disposal are publicly reported for each of that Federal agency's facilities encompassed by section 3-301. In no event shall the baseline year be later than the 1994 reporting year. The baseline amount as to which the 50 percent reduction goal applies shall be the aggregate amount of toxic pollutants reported by the agency in the baseline year. For any toxic pollutants included by the agency in determining its baseline under this section, in addition to toxic chemicals under Epcra, the agency shall report on such toxic pollutants annually under the provisions of section 3-304 of this order, if practicable, or through an agency report that is made available to the public.

(d) The head of each Federal agency shall ensure that each of its covered facilities develops a written pollution prevention plan no later than the end of 1995, which sets forth the facility's contribution to the goal established in section 3-302(a) of this order. Federal agencies shall conduct assessments of their facilities as necessary to ensure development of such plans and of the facilities' pollution prevention programs.

3-303. Acquisition and Procurement Goals. (a) Each Federal agency shall establish a plan and goals for eliminating or reducing the unnecessary acquisition by that agency of products containing extremely hazardous substances or toxic chemicals. Similarly, each Federal agency shall establish a plan and goal for voluntarily reducing its own manufacturing, processing, and use of extremely hazardous substances and toxic chemicals. Priorities shall be developed by Federal agencies, in coordination with Epa, for implementing this section.

(b) Within 24 months of the date of this order, the Department of Defense (Dod) and the General Services Administration (Gsa), and other agencies, as appropriate, shall review their agency's standardized documents, including specifications and standards, and identify opportunities to eliminate or reduce the use by their agency of extremely hazardous substances and toxic chemicals, consistent with the safety and reliability requirements of their agency mission. The Epa shall assist agencies in meeting the requirements of this section, including identifying substitutes and setting priorities for these reviews. By 1999, Dod, Gsa and other affected agencies shall make all appropriate revisions to these specifications and standards.

(c) Any revisions to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (Far) necessary to implement this order shall be made within 24 months of the date of this order.

(d) Federal agencies are encouraged to develop and test innovative pollution prevention technologies at their facilities in order to encourage the development of strong markets for such technologies. Partnerships should be encouraged between industry, Federal agencies, Government laboratories, academia, and others to assess and deploy innovative environmental technologies for domestic use and for markets abroad.

3-304. Toxics Release Inventory/Pollution Prevention Act Reporting. (a) The head of each Federal agency shall comply with the provisions set forth in section 313 of Epcra, section 6607 of Ppa, all implementing regulations, and future amendments to these authorities, in light of applicable guidance as provided by Epa.

(b) The head of each Federal agency shall comply with these provisions without regard to the Standard Industrial Classification (Sic) delineations that apply to the Federal agency's facilities, and such reports shall be for all releases, transfers, and wastes at such Federal agency's facility without regard to the Sic code of the activity leading to the release, transfer, or waste. All other existing statutory or regulatory limitations or exemptions on the application of Epcra section 313 shall apply to the reporting requirements set forth in section 3-304(a) of this order.

(c) The first year of compliance shall be no later than for the 1994 calendar year, with reports due on or before July 1, 1995.

3-305. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Reporting Responsibilities. The head of each Federal agency shall comply with the provisions set forth in sections 301 through 312 of Epcra, all implementing regulations, and future amendments to these authorities, in light of any applicable guidance as provided by Epa. Effective dates for compliance shall be: (a) With respect to the provisions of section 302 of Epcra, emergency planning notification shall be made no later than 7 months after the date of this order.

(b) With respect to the provisions of section 303 of Epcra, all information necessary for the applicable Local Emergency Planning Committee (Lepc's) to prepare or revise local Emergency Response Plans shall be provided no later than 1 year after the date of this order.

(c) To the extent that a facility is required to maintain Material Safety Data Sheets under any provisions of law or Executive order, information required under section 311 of Epcra shall be submitted no later than 1 year after the date of this order, and the first year of compliance with section 312 shall be no later than the 1994 calendar year, with reports due on or before March 1, 1995.

(d) The provisions of section 304 of Epcra shall be effective beginning January 1, 1994.

(e) These compliance dates are not intended to delay implementation of earlier timetables already agreed to by Federal agencies and are inapplicable to the extent they interfere with those timetables.

Sec. 4-4. Agency Coordination.

4-401. By February 1, 1994, the Administrator shall convene an Interagency Task Force composed of the Administrator, the Secretaries of Commerce, Defense, and Energy, the Administrator of General Services, the Administrator of the Office of Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget, and such other agency officials as deemed appropriate based upon lists of potential participants submitted to the Administrator pursuant to this section by the agency head. Each agency head may designate other senior agency officials to act in his/her stead, where appropriate. The Task Force will assist the agency heads in the implementation of the activities required under this order.

4-402. Federal agencies subject to the requirements of this order shall submit annual progress reports to the Administrator beginning on October 1, 1995. These reports shall include a description of the progress that the agency has made in complying with all aspects of this order, including the pollution reductions requirements. This reporting requirement shall expire after the report due on October 1, 2001.

4-403. Technical Advice. Upon request and to the extent practicable, the Administrator shall provide technical advice and assistance to Federal agencies in order to foster full compliance with this order. In addition, to the extent practicable, all Federal agencies subject to this order shall provide technical assistance, if requested, to Lepc's in their development of emergency response plans and in fulfillment of their community right-to-know and risk reduction responsibilities.

4-404. Federal agencies shall place high priority on obtaining funding and resources needed for implementing all aspects of this order, including the pollution prevention strategies, plans, and assessments required by this order, by identifying, requesting, and allocating funds through line-item or direct funding requests. Federal agencies shall make such requests as required in the Federal Agency Pollution Prevention and Abatement Planning Process and through agency budget requests as outlined in Office of Management and Budget (Omb) Circulars A-106 and A-11, respectively. Federal agencies should apply, to the maximum extent practicable, a life cycle analysis and total cost accounting principles to all projects needed to meet the requirements of this order.

4-405. Federal Government Environmental Challenge Program. The Administrator shall establish a "Federal Government Environmental Challenge Program" to recognize outstanding environmental management performance in Federal agencies and facilities. The program shall consist of two components that challenge Federal agencies; (a) to agree to a code of environmental principles to be developed by Epa, in cooperation with other agencies, that emphasizes pollution prevention, sustainable development and state-of-the-art environmental management programs, and (b) to submit applications to Epa for individual Federal agency facilities for recognition as "Model Installations." The program shall also include a means for recognizing individual Federal employees who demonstrate outstanding leadership in pollution prevention.

Sec. 5-5. Compliance.

5-501. By December 31, 1993, the head of each Federal agency shall provide the Administrator with a preliminary list of facilities that potentially meet the requirements for reporting under the threshold provisions of Epcra, Ppa, and this order.

5-502. The head of each Federal agency is responsible for ensuring that such agency take all necessary actions to prevent pollution in accordance with this order, and for that agency's compliance with the provisions of Epcra and Ppa. Compliance with Epcra and Ppa means compliance with the same substantive, procedural, and other statutory and regulatory requirements that would apply to a private person. Nothing in this order shall be construed as making the provisions of sections 325 and 326 of Epcra applicable to any Federal agency or facility, except to the extent that such Federal agency or facility would independently be subject to such provisions. Epa shall consult with Federal agencies, if requested, to determine the applicability of this order to particular agency facilities.

5-503. Each Federal agency subject to this order shall conduct internal reviews and audits, and take such other steps, as may be necessary to monitor compliance with sections 3-304 and 3-305 of this order.

5-504. The Administrator, in consultation with the heads of Federal agencies, may conduct such reviews and inspections as may be necessary to monitor compliance with sections 3-304 and 3-305 of this order. Except as excluded under section 6-601 of this order, all Federal agencies are encouraged to cooperate fully with the efforts of the Administrator to ensure compliance with sections 3-304 and 3-305 of this order.

5-505. Federal agencies are further encouraged to comply with all state and local right-to-know and pollution prevention requirements to the extent that compliance with such laws and requirements is not otherwise already mandated.

5-506. Whenever the Administrator notifies a Federal agency that it is not in compliance with an applicable provision of this order, the Federal agency shall achieve compliance as promptly as is practicable.

5-507. The Epa shall report annually to the President on Federal agency compliance with the provisions of section 3-304 of this order.

5-508. To the extent permitted by law and unless such documentation is withheld pursuant to section 6-601 of this order, the public shall be afforded ready access to all strategies, plans, and reports required to be prepared by Federal agencies under this order by the agency preparing the strategy, plan, or report. When the reports are submitted to Epa, Epa shall compile the strategies, plans, and reports and make them publicly available as well. Federal agencies are encouraged to provide such strategies, plans, and reports to the State and local authorities where their facilities are located for an additional point of access to the public.

Sec. 6-6. Exemption.

6-601. In the interest of national security, the head of a Federal agency may request from the President an exemption from complying with the provisions of any or all aspects of this order for particular Federal agency facilities, provided that the procedures set forth in section 120(j)(1) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (42 U.S.C. 9620(j)(1)), are followed. To the maximum extent practicable, and without compromising national security, all Federal agencies shall strive to comply with the purposes, goals, and implementation steps set forth in this order.

Sec. 7-7. General Provisions.

7-701. Nothing in this order shall create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by a party against the United States, its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.



William J. Clinton

The White House, August 3, 1993.

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