40 CFR § 300.405 - Discovery or notification.
(a) A release may be discovered through:
(1) A report submitted in accordance with section 103(a) of CERCLA, i.e., reportable quantities codified at 40 CFR part 302;
(2) A report submitted to EPA in accordance with section 103(c) of CERCLA;
(3) Investigation by government authorities conducted in accordance with section 104(e) of CERCLA or other statutory authority;
(4) Notification of a release by a federal or state permit holder when required by its permit;
(5) Inventory or survey efforts or random or incidental observation reported by government agencies or the public;
(6) Submission of a citizen petition to EPA or the appropriate federal facility requesting a preliminary assessment, in accordance with section 105(d) of CERCLA;
(7) A report submitted in accordance with section 311(b)(5) of the CWA; and
(8) Other sources.
(b) Any person in charge of a vessel or a facility shall report releases as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section to the National Response Center (NRC). If direct reporting to the NRC is not practicable, reports may be made to the United States Coast Guard (USCG) on-scene coordinator (OSC) for the geographic area where the release occurs. The EPA predesignated OSC may also be contacted through the regional 24-hour emergency response telephone number. All such reports shall be promptly relayed to the NRC. If it is not possible to notify the NRC or predesignated OSC immediately, reports may be made immediately to the nearest USCG unit. In any event, such person in charge of the vessel or facility shall notify the NRC as soon as possible.
(c) All other reports of releases described under paragraph (a) of this section, except releases reported under paragraphs (a)(2) and (6) of this section, shall, as appropriate, be made to the NRC.
(d) The NRC will generally need information that will help to characterize the release. This will include, but not be limited to: Location of the release; type(s) of material(s) released; an estimate of the quantity of material released; possible source of the release; and date and time of the release. Reporting under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section shall not be delayed due to incomplete notification information.
(e) Upon receipt of a notification of a release, the NRC shall promptly notify the appropriate OSC. The OSC shall notify the Governor, or designee, of the state affected by the release.
(1) When the OSC is notified of a release that may require response pursuant to § 300.415(b), a removal site evaluation shall, as appropriate, be promptly undertaken pursuant to § 300.410.
(2) When notification indicates that removal action pursuant to § 300.415(b) is not required, a remedial site evaluation shall, if appropriate, be undertaken by the lead agency pursuant to § 300.420, if one has not already been performed.
(3) If radioactive substances are present in a release, the EPA Radiological Response Coordinator should be notified for evaluation and assistance either directly or via the NRC, consistent with §§ 300.130(e) and 300.145(f).
(g) Release notification made to the NRC under this section does not relieve the owner/operator of a facility from any obligations to which it is subject under SARA Title III or state law. In particular, it does not relieve the owner/operator from the requirements of section 304 of SARA Title III and 40 CFR part 355 and § 300.215(f) of this part for notifying the community emergency coordinator for the appropriate local emergency planning committee of all affected areas and the state emergency response commission of any state affected that there has been a release. Federal agencies are not legally obligated to comply with the requirements of Title III of SARA.