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Are You Ready for March 1st Deadlines: Tier II and Biennial Reporting?

Tier II Reporting

Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) describes reporting requirements for facilities that possess chemicals above established reporting thresholds. For those facilities subject to reporting, submission of a Tier II Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and local Fire Department is required by March 1st of every year for the previous calendar year.

These reporting requirements allow state and local emergency response and planning committees to be aware of the hazardous materials present within their communities and to prepare for emergency responses.

Which facilities have to report?

Facilities storing a hazardous chemical that is an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) in an amount equal to or greater than 500 pounds or above the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower, are required to submit Tier II reports. EHS and TPQs can be found in 40 CFR part 355 Appendix B and the EPA’s List of Lists can also be used to locate this information.

In addition, submission of a Tier II report is required for any facility possessing a hazardous chemical that is not an EHS when the hazardous chemical is present in quantities greater than 10,000 pounds at any time during the previous calendar year. Under EPCRA, hazardous chemicals are substances for which a facility must maintain an SDS under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

Chemicals that may be overlooked that can trigger the need for Tier II reporting include liquid nitrogen (10,000 pound threshold) and generator fuel oil (10,000 pound threshold). In addition, sulfuric acid (including sulfuric acid in lead acid batteries such as those used for forklifts,  emergency generators, and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units) has a 500 pound threshold and can often trigger the need to report.

What about laboratories and Tier II reporting?

Research chemicals are exempt from reporting. Section  311(c)(4) of EPCRA excludes from the definition of hazardous chemical:  “Any substance to the extent it is used in a research laboratory or a hospital or other medical facility under the direct supervision of a technically qualified individual.”  The exclusion applies to research laboratories as well as quality control laboratory operations located within manufacturing facilities.  Laboratories that produce chemical specialty products or full scale pilot plant operations are considered to be part of the manufacturing facility and therefore would not be a research laboratory.

How do I file a Tier II report?

To meet Massachusetts SERC reporting requirements, Tier II reports need to be submitted using the online Tier II Manager System. Detailed information can be found on the SERC website. Companies must also determine LEPC and fire department reporting requirements for their city or town as they can vary. Tier II reporting requirements for other states can be found on EPA’s Tier II website.

Biennial Reports

If your facility is registered as a Large Quantity Generator (LQG) of hazardous waste, don’t forget that 2022 is a year when biennial reports must be filed. Biennial reports are due by March 1st of even numbered years for any facility that exceeded the LQG threshold during the preceding odd numbered year, even if your facility is no longer registered as an LQG.  Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) are also required to report every two years. 

Biennial reports provide the DEP and EPA with information on the quantity and nature of the hazardous waste that was generated in the previous year and whether the waste was sent for recycling, treatment, storage, or disposal.

How do I file a Biennial Report?

Biennial reports need to be filed electronically using the Biennial Report component of the RCRAInfo Industry Application. The electronic submission includes the following: RCRA Subtitle C Site Identification Form; Waste Generation and Management (GM) Form; Waste Received From Off-Site (WR) Form, and Off-Site Identification (OI) Form. Filing instructions are provided in MA DEP’s fact sheet on Biennial Reporting and additional information can be found on EPA’s Biennial Report website. 

There’s still time to submit Tier II and Biennial Reports if your facility is required to do so! For help meeting the March 1st deadline, please contact [email protected].

This blog was written by Beth Graham, Associate Director of Quality, Research, & Training at Safety Partners.

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