Tier II Reporting Changes on Tap
As we approach the March 1, 2014 deadline for Tier II reporting under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), now is a good time to revisit the regulations and recent changes to the reporting requirements.
EPCRA was originally created following the 1984 chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, where more than 2,000 people were killed or severely injured by an accidental release of deadly methylisocyanate. The intent of Congress in passing the Act was to ensure nothing like it could or would happen in the United States. Unfortunately, poor Tier II reporting continues to result in deaths, injuries and considerable destruction of property following accidents, fires and explosions, not to mention related civil and criminal penalties.
Thus, EPCRA has a number of requirements defined in separate sections that are all intended to create and maintain a network of local, state, regional, and national emergency response systems that are prepared in advance for chemical emergencies. There are many links in this chain but one of the most essential is that of Tier II reporting because it provides emergency responders and other experts with detailed knowledge of what chemical hazards are on site and how to safely and appropriately respond in the event of an emergency.
Learn an overview of existing EPRCA Tier I and II reporting requirements and much more during our in-depth webinar on January 28, 2014.
Tier II reporting is required annually for facilities that have or use chemicals at or above the threshold levels defined in 40 CFR part 370, including facilities that:
- Must prepare or have available chemical Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and required under EPCRA Section 311,
- Meet specific requirements such as threshold planning quantities (TPQs) for extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) and hazardous chemicals, including retail gasoline and diesel fuel stations,
- Must respond to SDS requests from Local Emergency Planning Commissions (LEPCs), or
- Must file Tier II reports when requested by an LEPC or State Emergency Planning Commission (SERC) with jurisdiction.
Although states have jurisdiction for Tier II reporting, the EPA provides a e-reporting platform called Tier2 Submit, that is used by many states, although others such as California have created their own reporting programs that have unique and/or more stringent requirements.
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.
For the 2013 reporting year, Tier2 Submit has been overhauled to reflect changes intended to improve reporting through the addition of new data elements, as well as revisions of existing data elements. As of January 1, 2014, facilities required to submit Tier II reports must use the new reporting forms that are available with instructions at http://www2.epa.gov/epcra-tier-i-and-tier-ii-reporting/tier-ii-forms-and-instructions.
Changes to the Tier2 Submit system include:
- Added “Manned/Unmanned” facility checkboxes
- Added "Dun and Bradstreet Number (Parent Company)" field (only available when Parent Company is chosen as a Contact Type)
- Added "Confidential" checkbox for chemical storage locations
- Added “Maximum Code” range field (for maximum daily amount of chemical onsite) for mixture components
- Added "Maximum No. of Occupants" field
- Removed "Number of Employees on Site" field
- Removed latitude/longitude method and description fields
- Now use new 2013 range code values for Maximum and Average Daily Amounts of chemicals onsite
- Now use full descriptive phrases (rather than codes) for container type, pressure and temperature
In addition, for those facilities that are unable to submit Tier II forms via Tier2 Submit, paper form changes include:
- Updated complete paper report option based on field changes
- Removed original-style report option
- Enhanced search behavior so that submitters can use either the on-screen Search button or the keyboard Enter/Return key to start a search
- Expanded window size and screen layout
- Updated state-specific fields
- Minor bug fixes and changes
To determine exactly what Tier II reporting requirements are in place in your state, go to http://www2.epa.gov/epcra-tier-i-and-tier-ii-reporting/state-tier-ii-reporting-requirements-and-procedures.