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 Substances (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.

Where should you start?

An accurate 2020 chemical inventory is a good starting point to determine reporting requirements! Chemicals that may be overlooked that can trigger the need for Tier II reporting include nitrogen (500-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 and emergency generators) has a 500-pound threshold and can often trigger the need to report.

It should be mentioned that EPA has clarified in its EPCRA guidance document that the use of sulfuric acid for wastewater neutralization is subject to the 10,000-pound threshold and not the 500-pound threshold because it is not incorporated into the final product nor is it created at the facility.

What information is needed for the Tier II report?

Tier II reports require basic facility identification information and employee contact information for both emergencies and non-emergencies. They also require that for every chemical that triggers a reporting threshold that information including the following be provided:

  • The name of the chemical and its physical state
  • The maximum daily amount and average daily amount onsite at any time during the previous calendar year
  • Physical and health hazards associated with the chemical
  • Storage locations, type of storage, and storage conditions

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. Companies must also determine LEPC and fire department reporting requirements for their city or town as they can vary. For companies filing a Tier II report to the Cambridge Fire Department and the LEPC, only one report to the Cambridge Fire Department needs to be filed. A PDF of the report generated in the Tier II Manager System can be submitted via email to ctowski@cambridgefire.org.

For additional information on Tier II reporting requirements, or for help preparing and submitting your Tier II report by the March 1st deadline, please contact info@safetypartnersinc.com.

This blog was written by Beth Graham, our Associate Director of Quality, Research, and Training who has been with Safety Partners Inc. for the last 11 years.