Tier 2 Reports (Formerly Sara Title 3 Reports)
Community Right-to-Know: SARA Title III: Tier II Reporting Guidelines and Information
Basic Explanation of Section 312
The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), also called SARA Title III, was enacted in 1986. A Tier 2 Report is basically an "Annual Chemical Report," per facility. If there were ever any kind of spill or other emergency situation at facilities that retain hazardous substances, local responders, such as firemen or emergency managers, can know how to handle the situation. They use this information in a very sophisticated software that helps them see what hazards might be affected in real-time and after the event, such as a tornado. This information is also made public so that citizens can remain informed as well in matters that may affect them, hence the term Community Right to Know.
Who has to file a report?
Many industries fall under the reporting requirements including the oil industry, the aviation industry, automotive industries, Mining and Quarry industries, construction industries, manufacturing and general industries and many more. If you have any chemical at all on your facility that is listed on the Federal Hazardous Chemical List you will need to comply with reporting requirements if you have more than a specified threshold of that chemical. There are more than 3000 chemicals on those lists and you must comply to the reporting requirements if you store or contain more than the allowable amounts for not reporting.
The owners or managers of any facilities must file Tier II Reports if they fall into the following criteria:
A list of Extremely Hazardous Substances can be found on EPA’s website.
What is the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ)?
The EPA determines the TPQ for chemicals based on the hazards associated with the chemical. A chemical that is extremely hazardous would be given a low TPQ to ensure that facilities would report them to the state. Check the EPA’s list of Extremely Hazardous Substances for chemicals and their TPQs.
If you’ve just received a substance that falls into one of these categories in the above quantities for the first time and have never filed a Tier II Report before, check with your state reporting requirements to find out when you need to file the initial report. Some states give you as few as five days while others can give you months to file the initial report.
If you’ve had this substance on site for some time and have filed Tier II reports in the past, file the annual report for the preceding year by March 1st of each year. Even if you don’t currently have hazardous substances on site, a report must be filed if they were on site within the past year in amounts greater than the allowable threshold. Failure to report the chemicals can lead to a federal fine up to $27,500 per day.
What’s Included in a Tier II Report?
Facility Information – includes, name, address, county and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) number (the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code used to be required, but recent changes to the regulations now call for the NAICS number instead). The calendar year for the reporting period. The Owner/Operator name, mailing address, and phone number. Emergency contact and phone number of at least one local individual or office that can act as a referral if emergency responders need assistance in responding to a chemical accident at the facility. Also an emergency phone number where such emergency information will be available 24 hours a day. A list of all chemicals and hazardous substances required according to the threshold quantities, including:
- Common name
- Chemical Abstract Services (CAS) number
- Physical state
- Physical and/or Health Hazards – these are divided into five categories. Physical hazards are Fire, Sudden Release of Pressure and Reactivity. Health hazards are Immediate (Acute) or Delayed (Chronic).
- Inventory Information – this includes the maximum daily amount, the average daily amount and the number of days on site.
- Storage Information – this includes container type, pressure, temperature, specific information on storage amounts and locations.
- Other company-related information and uses of chemicals
- Facility Management Certification – The owner or operator or the officially designed representative of the owner or operator must certify that all information included in the Tier II submission is true, accurate and complete.
How do I File a Tier II Report?
Many people will hire a consulting firm to go to the facility, take a professional inventory of the chemicals and prepare the reports to file. You may call us at 800-248-2036 and we will file your reports for you. All Tier II reports must be filed by March 1st for the previous calendar year. Every state has different requirements for how they want you to file your Tier II reports. Some use the EPA’s reporting system software and some use their own software programs.
Who will use the information in my reports?
LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee), Any local fire departments that would respond to emergencies at the facility, SERC (State Emergency Reporting Commission), Anyone with permission to access for Emergency or other Public reasons, Federal Emergency Management officials and others may access your reports.
What are the Penalties for Non-Compliance?
If you are found to be in non-compliance with Tier II Reporting regulations, you could be subject to fines of up to $27,500 per violation, per day. See the EPA website for details.