Emergency Preparedness and Response

EPCRA FAQ Roundup

Does EPA have any guidance for EPCRA Tier II reporting for tenant leased spaces? Who is responsible for reporting – the building owner or the tenant who has the hazardous chemicals in the leased space?

We are not aware of any EPA guidance documents per se concerning Tier II reporting for leased spaces. However, EPA does have a Q&A concerning the subject.

Question:

An owner leases a facility to another person. The lease agreement states that “in its use and occupancy of the facility and in its use of the leased equipment, the lessee shall abide by and comply with all governmental laws, regulations and requirements.” Does this contractual language exempt the owner of the facility from reporting under EPCRA Sections 311 and 312?

Answer:

No. Private parties cannot by contract exempt themselves from liability created by the statutory provisions of EPCRA. Note, however, that the law assigns the responsibility for reporting under Sections 311 and 312 to “the owner or operator of any facility which is required to prepare or have available a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for a hazardous chemical under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and regulations under that act.” In some instances, both the owner/lessor and operator/lessee may have the responsibility for MSDS requirements, even for the same chemicals. In other instances only one party is assigned responsibility for MSDS preparation or availability under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

What are the Tier II reporting TPQs for HCl and H2SO4?

Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQs)

Facilities with extremely hazardous substances (EHS) that equal or exceed 500 lb or the TPQ, whichever is lower*, must submit an annual inventory (Tier II) of EHS chemicals that meet the minimum TPQ by March 1 of each year to their SERC, LEPC, and local fire department. EHSs and their TPQs are listed in Appendices A and B of 40 CFR part 355.

40 CFR 355 Appendix A:

•7647-01-0 Hydrochloric acid/hydrogen chloride (HC1) 500 lb
•7664-93-9 Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) 500 lb*

*Note The reportable threshold for sulfuric acid is 1000 subject to the requirements of 40 CFR 355.30 (emergency release notification)if the quantity is in excess of the TPQ (1,000 pounds) and the requirements of 40 CFR 370 if the quantity is in excess of the minimum TPQ (500 pounds).