EPCRA – Tier II Reporting

Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act Tier II Reporting

The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) helps communities, first responders, and industry prepare for emergencies involving hazardous materials and chemical hazards.

Why is it important to comply with EPCRA?

Federal, state, and local governments, in collaboration with covered industrial facilities, must plan ahead for hazardous chemical emergencies. Industrial sites with chemical hazards or hazardous materials must report on the storage, use, and release of those substances to federal, state, and local governments and emergency responders. Reporting provides emergency first responders with valuable and life-saving information in the event of an emergency.

Important provisions of EPCRA

EPCRA has four primary provisions: Emergency Planning; Emergency Release Notification; Hazardous Chemical Storage Reporting Requirements; and Toxic Chemical Release Inventory.

Emergency Planning and Emergency Release Notification: Local governments, with the oversight and guidance from state governments, are required to prepare a chemical emergency response plan and review it annually. The chemical emergency response plan specifies actions to be taken in the event of an emergency release. Facilities must immediately notify first responders and various government agencies in the event of an emergency release.

Hazardous Chemical Storage Reporting Requirements: Industrial sites must meet a number of reporting and recordkeeping requirements under EPCRA. Sites that maintain Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) on-site over threshold values must work with local governments as they create their chemical emergency response plan. Facilities that maintain hazardous chemicals in excess of threshold values must submit the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to the fire department and other state and local officials. Regulated sites with chemicals over the Tier II reporting thresholds must also annually report inventories of all on-site chemicals required to have a SDS (called Tier II Reporting). This information is in turn available to the public, subject to certain trade secret restrictions.

Toxic Chemical Release Inventory: EPCRA also requires facilities to annually submit a Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). TRI reporting (also known as “Form R”) is required for over 600
hazardous chemicals if they are used or stored on-site over specific threshold quantities.

Importance of implementing an active regulatory watch on EPCRA updates

EPCRA has been modified since its inception in the 1980s to update reporting requirements,
modify threshold values, and add new data elements for reporting. Facilities should also monitor their chemical inventories to determine whether they exceed specific threshold values. This is particularly important where new hazardous substances are introduced to the facility.

Who must report ?

Reporting varies. All sites that maintain hazardous chemicals must submit SDS to emergency responders. Facilities maintaining hazardous chemicals over threshold values must submit Tier II reports. Finally, TRI reporting is required for facilities with toxic chemicals that pose a threat to human health and the environment. They must submit TRI reports annually reporting how much of each chemical they managed through recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and environmental releases.

What is an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS)?

EPA follows OSHA’s definition of EHS in 29 CFR 1910.1200: any chemical which is classified as a physical hazard or a health hazard, a simple asphyxiant, combustible dust, pyrophoric gas, or hazard not otherwise classified.
Find out more on Chemicals & Hazardous Products compliance

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