Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS, US)


The Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS) is a reporting system for chemical spills and accidents. The system is maintained through the cooperation of The US EPA, the National Response Center, the National Transportation Systems Center, and the US Coast Guard. The annual ERNS data is downloadable as excel files since 1990 and may be found HERE.

For purposes of this entry, we display the number of reported ERNS events annually since 2005 obtained from the source above.

Number of ERNS Incidents by year, 2005-2014

2014 20,509 (through September 10, 2014)
2013 29,176
2012 28,597
2011 28,481
2010 29,818
2009 28,115
2008 29,837
2007 30,603
2006 33,043
2005 32,855

As these data indicate, the number of chemical spills reported is relatively constant over time.

The ENS data contains information on the incident as reported and with follow up investigative information when available, the material and amount involved in the incident, and the details for the vehicle involved in the incident (i.e., vessel, train and other mobile units).

These data have been used in a variety of studies assessing hazardous chemical releases, including case studies. Green criminologists (Lynch, Stretesky and Hammond, 2000) have used these data to examine the media coverage of these incidents, and the compare media coverage of chemical crimes to media coverage of street crime.
Further Reading

Lynch, Michael J., Paul Stretesky, and Paul Hammond.(2000). “Media coverage of chemical crimes, Hillsborough County, Florida, 1987–97.” British Journal of Criminology 40, 1: 112-126.

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