EPCRA Tier II Reporting Changes Now in Effect
Effective January 1, 2014, and pursuant to amendments made by the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") dating back to 2012, companies are now required to report additional information on the inventory reporting forms submitted pursuant to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 U.S.C. § 11001, et seq. ("EPCRA"). These forms are due by March 1, 2014 for the previous calendar year. Companies must pay attention to these new requirements because the consequences of EPCRA non-compliance are real: EPCRA violations can result in (i) civil penalties ranging from $10,000 to $75,000 per day, per violation and (ii) criminal penalties, including up to five years in prison. 42 U.S.C. § 11045.
EPCRA and its implementing regulations, 40 CFR § 370, et seq., require that companies where hazardous chemicals were present at any time during the previous calendar year at levels greater than prescribed threshold quantities, report certain information to local and state emergency organizations. This reporting obligation is satisfied by submitting either the Tier I or Tier II form, both of which are published by the EPA. Either form can be used, but facilities must submit the Tier II report if the local response agency so requires.
EPA's reporting rules define the following threshold quantities, which trigger EPCRA reporting: (i) any hazardous chemical in an amount greater than 10,000 pounds that was present at any time during the previous calendar year; and (ii) any extremely hazardous substance in an amount greater than 500 pounds or the substances threshold planning quantity, whichever is lower, present at any time during the previous calendar year.
Facilities where hazardous chemicals were present during the previous reporting year in excess of the aforementioned threshold quantities must submit an EPCRA inventory report to their local emergency planning committee, state emergency response commission and local fire department by March 1 for the previous calendar year. For more information regarding EPCRA reporting and for state-specific reporting requirements, refer to EPA's website here.
EPA now requires that the following information be included in EPCRA inventory reports (all of which is included on the most up-to-date version of EPA's Tier2 Submit reporting plateform):
- Facility latitude and longitude;
- Toxic Release Inventory and Risk Management Program identification numbers;
- Whether the reported chemical storage is manned or unmanned;
- Contact information for the facility emergency coordinator, Tier I and Tier II contact information, as well as the email addresses of the owner or operator and emergency contact(s);
- Whether the facility is subject to EPCRA § 302 and/or the Clean Air Act § 112(r), the Risk Management Program;
- Maximum number of occupants that may be present at any one time; and
- Any additional state or local reporting requirements.
EPA's amendments also added separate data fields for reporting pure chemicals and mixtures and provided for descriptions of storage information in lieu of codes.