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My Watershed

Washington State Emergency Response Commission

The Washington SERC was created in accordance with federal Public Law 99-499. Congress enacted this law in response to public concern about chemical accidents such as those in Bhopal, India and Institute, West Virginia where people lost their lives or suffered serious injury. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) establishes requirements for federal, state, tribal, and local governments and industry regarding emergency response planning and everyone's right to know about hazardous chemicals in their community.

The SERC is comprised of a broad-based membership with representatives from private industry, state and local agencies. The Department of Ecology, Washington State Patrol and Emergency Management Division of the Military Department have specific responsibilities under WAC 118-40.

The SERC was established to:

  • implement the provisions of the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act
  • designate and oversee Local Emergency Planning Districts or Committees
  • facilitate preparation and implementation of emergency planning and preparedness

The Department of Ecology serves as the repository for most of the SARA Title III or EPCRA reporting requirements. This program also has responsibility for development and maintenance of the State SARA Title III Program. Ecology receives and distributes information on storage and releases of toxic chemicals under these regulations.

SERC membership

Additional information on SERC activities is available at

Guidance for Tribal Emergency Response Commissions is available

Each year the SERC applies to the U. S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for a Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant funds.  The SERC then provides grant opportunities to Local Emergency Planning Committees and Tribal Emergency Managers for specific types of projects.  These grants are managed by the Emergency Management Division of the Military Department on behalf of the SERC.  More information is available at

SERC related sites:

Washington State Fire Marshal: htpp://
Washington State Patrol:
Disaster Preparedness: