Contributed by Isaac Smith, Senior Compliance Manager, PPM Consultants
The Superfund Amendments & Reauthorization Act (SARA) was signed into federal law in 1986. Title III of SARA is known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces SARA Title III.
The regulation was created to help communities plan for chemical emergencies. EPCRA requires industry to report on the storage, use and releases of hazardous substances to federal, state, and local governments. EPCRA requires state and local governments, and Indian tribes to use this information to prepare for and protect their communities from potential risks.
Who must report?
Facilities that store hazardous chemicals on-site in quantities that exceed the reporting thresholds at any point during the year must submit a Tier II report.
Facilities must submit a report if they meet any of the following criteria:
- The facility stored 10,000 pounds of any hazardous chemical.
- The facility stored material on the EPA’s Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) list exceeding 500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is less.
- Retail fuel stations with underground storage tanks (UST) in compliance with federal storage tank requirements trigger reporting when gasoline storage exceeds 75,000 gallons (gal) or diesel fuel (all grades) exceeds 100,000 gal.
- If requested by the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC, or local fire department.
- If your specific state has additional, or more stringent reporting requirements that are triggered prior to exceeding any of the above thresholds.
What must be reported? Tier II Reporting Requirements
Each facility must submit the hazardous chemical inventory information for all applicable chemicals that exceed the threshold quantity. The following is a list of some of the information required on the inventory form:
- The chemical name or the common name as indicated on the safety data sheet (SDS);
- An estimate of the maximum amount of the chemical present at any time during the preceding calendar year and the average daily amount;
- A brief description of the manner of storage of the chemical;
- The location of the chemical at the facility; and
- An indication of whether the owner of the facility elects to withhold location information from disclosure to the public.
Make sure to check your state-specific regulations for reporting requirements and procedures. A link for each state’s reporting requirements is included at the end of this document.
When must I submit my report?
Tier II reports are due annually on March 1. The EPA does not grant reporting extensions, so be sure to submit your report on-time.
Where do I submit my report?
Facilities subject to Tier II reporting must submit the annual hazardous chemical inventory report to their state agency and or SERC, LEPC, and the local fire department. Using the Tier II software (Tier2 Submit and E-plan) are the two main software used to create the inventory report.
Both programs are pretty straight forward and there are detailed instructions or tutorials on how to use them. Once a report is generated, it can be easily accessed through the software, or you can upload a prior year’s report, and update it to reflect the current reporting year’s inventory.
Working With a Local Emergency Planning Committee
Florida businesses storing hazardous chemicals must typically collaborate with their local emergency planning committee (LEPC) to ensure proper compliance and reporting requirements.
The first step is to confirm which local emergency planning committee has jurisdiction in your area. The Florida Department of Emergency Management will have that information.
Summary of Tier II Reporting Requirements
Tier II reporting has been around for decades and it’s not going to go away. Depending on your state, there may be changes each year, but for the most part, the reporting requirements largely remain the same. Maintain accurate purchasing and storage records to make reporting easier.
Once you institute a good chemical inventory recordkeeping process, Tier II reporting should be one of the easier annual reports to compile. If you need help, have any questions or need PPM to handle your Tier II reporting, please give your local PPM office a call.
Links to other articles or websites on this topic are provided below.