Has the 2020 Tier II reporting deadline caught you off-guard? The Tier Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reports for the 2019 reporting year are due to the EPA by March 1, 2020. However, it's not too late.
UNDERSTANDING TIER II REPORTING
Tier II reporting is required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) passed in 1986, as Title III of the Superfund Authorization and Amendments Act (SARA). Tier II reporting is also called Community Right-to-Know (CRTK) reporting.
A Tier II report simply provides a summary of the hazardous materials used at your business facilities so that emergency planning services in your community and state can be aware of the potential hazards in case of an emergency, such as an accident, fire or natural disaster.
How do you know which substances are considered hazardous materials?
Any solid, liquid or gas that requires an OSHA Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) (or Safety Data Sheets, SDS) is considered “hazardous” when it comes to Tier II reporting.
You are also required to report substances that are on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extremely hazardous substance (EHS) list, and even some other substances that aren’t deemed hazardous when you have more than 10,000 lbs. on-site at one time.
Is my facility required to file?
Any facility that is required to maintain MSDSs (or SDSs) under OSHA regulations for hazardous chemicals stored or used in the workplace is subject to file Tier II.
Facilities with chemicals in quantities that equal or exceed the following thresholds also must report:
For Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) (Shown in the EPA’s List of Lists referenced in the Additional Resources at the end of this section)), either 500 pounds or the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower.
For gasoline (all grades combined) at a retail gas station, the threshold level is 75,000 gallons (or approximately 283,900 liters), if the tank(s) was stored entirely underground and was in compliance at all times during the preceding calendar year with all applicable Underground Storage Tank (UST) requirements at 40 CFR part 280 or requirements of the State UST program approved by the Agency under 40 CFR part 281.
For diesel fuel (all grades combined) at a retail gas station, the threshold level is 100,000 gallons (or approximately 378,500 liters), if the tank(s) was stored entirely underground and the tank(s) was in compliance at all times during the preceding calendar year with all applicable UST requirements at 40 CFR part 280 or requirements of the State UST program approved by the Agency under 40 CFR part 281.
For all other hazardous chemicals: 10,000 pounds.
What is a hazardous chemical?
Hazardous chemicals are substances for which a facility must maintain a MSDS (or SDS) under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, which lists the criteria used to identify a hazardous chemical. MSDSs (or SDSs) are detailed information sheets that provide data on health hazards and physical hazards of chemicals along with associated protective measures. Over 500,000 products have MSDSs (SDSs) which are normally obtained from the chemical manufacturer.
What are facilities required to do?
Under Section 311 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities are required to submit the MSDSs (or SDSs) of hazardous chemicals present on-site at or above the reporting threshold to their SERC, LEPC, and local fire department. Facilities may choose to submit a list of the hazardous chemicals grouped into hazard categories instead. This is a one-time submittal. New facilities have 3 months after becoming subject to the OSHA regulations to submit their MSDSs (or SDSs) or the list of the hazardous chemicals to their SERC, LEPC, and the fire department.
Facilities that need to submit MSDSs (or SDSs) or the list of hazardous chemicals under Section 311, also need to submit an annual inventory report for the same chemicals (EPCRA Section 312). This inventory report must be submitted to the SERC, LEPC and local fire department by March 1 of each year.
How do I submit a Tier I or Tier II Inventory Report?
Facilities covered by these requirements must submit an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form to their SERC, LEPC and the local fire department annually. Facilities provide either a Tier I or Tier II form. Most states require the Tier II form. Tier II forms require basic facility identification information, employee contact information for both emergencies and non-emergencies, and information about chemicals stored or used at the facility. The EPA recently revised the Tier II form to include additional data elements which would be useful to local planners and first-responders.
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 MSDS (or 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
An indication of whether the owner of the facility elects to withhold location information from disclosure to the public
More About Tier II Reporting
Tier II reports are due March 1 of each year and, in most states, can be filed electronically.
EPCRA Section 325 allows civil and administrative penalties ranging up to $10,000-$75,000 per violation or per day per violation when facilities fail to comply with the reporting requirements.