EHS Management

Frequently Asked Questions About Tier II Reporting

Q: When a facility is subject to Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 312 Tier II reporting requirements, are there any additional federal recordkeeping requirements that must be met?

A: There are no federal recordkeeping requirements for facilities that are subject to reporting under EPCRA Section 312, however, some states have guidelines regarding retention of information submitted under state regulations.

Q: Are there any exemptions under EPCRA Section 312?

A: There are five exemptions under Sections 311 and 312. These exemptions are provided in Section 311(e) as follows:

   1. Any food, food additive, color additive, drug, or cosmetic regulated by the Food and Drug Administration;
   2. Any substance present as a solid in any manufactured item to the extent exposure to the substance does not occur under normal conditions of use;
   3. Any substance to the extent it is used for personal, family, or household purposes, or is present in the same form and concentration as a product packaged for distribution and use by the general public;
   4. 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; and
   5. Any substance to the extent it is used in routine agricultural operations or is fertilizer held for sale by a retailer to the ultimate customer.

Learn an overview of existing EPRCA Tier I and II reporting requirements and much more during our in-depth webinar on January 28, 2014.
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There are also several exemptions under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s)  Hazard Communication Standard that affect the requirement for preparing or having available a Safety Data Sheet (SDS). These are listed in 29 CFR 1910.1200(b).

Q: How are mixtures handled for Sections 311 and 312 reporting?

A: The requirements of Sections 311 and 312 may be met by choosing one of two options:

1) Providing the required information on each hazardous chemical component of the mixture. In this case, the concentration of the hazardous chemical in weight percent must be multiplied by the mass (in pounds) of the mixture to determine the quantity of the hazardous chemical in the mixture.  Facilities are not required to submit a SDS for hazardous components in a mixture with quantities in concentrations below 0.1 percent for carcinogens and 1 percent for all other hazardous components of the total weight of the mixture.

2) When the composition of a mixture is unknown, facilities should provide the required information on the mixture as a whole, using the total quantity of the mixture.

Whichever option is chosen, the reporting of mixtures must be consistent for Sections 311 and 312, where practicable.

Join us for an in-depth webinar on January 28, 2014. Our presenter, a seasoned environmental professional who has assisted companies with assuring compliant EPRCA Tier I and II reporting, will provide participants with a detailed analysis of the changes and suggestions for accurate reporting.

Q: If a facility purchases more than 10,000 pounds of a hazardous chemical for which OSHA requires an SDS in a calendar year, but does not receive or store more than the 10,000 pound threshold at any one time, must the facility report under Sections 311 and 312?

A: The determinations for reporting under Sections 311 and 312 are based on how much hazardous chemical was present at a facility at any one time in amounts equal to or greater than their thresholds, and is not based on the amount of hazardous chemicals purchased in a calendar year.

Q: If a facility does not meet the required threshold quantities and thus is not required to report under EPCRA Section 312, can the fire department with jurisdiction for the facility still request Tier II information for the facility and an on-site inspection?

A: Yes. Section 312(e)(1) allows the fire department with jurisdiction over the facility to request that the owner or operator provide Tier II information concerning the facility.  In such a case, the applicable threshold for the facility subject to the request is zero (40 CFR 370.10(b)).  Therefore, upon a fire department’s request, the facility would have to file Tier II forms and must allow the fire department to conduct an on-site inspection of a facility that has not previously filed a Tier II report.