Preparing for the March 1 Tier II Reporting Deadline: Everything You Need to Know

Tier II Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reports for the 2018 reporting year are due to the EPA by March 1, 2019.

Mandated by Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), ) Tier II reports capture critical information about the types, quantities and locations of hazardous chemicals at a given facility. Submitted annually to local fire departments, Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) and State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), the information helps local and state emergency responders prepare for chemical events that could affect the community, and provide an emergency contact for each reporting facility.

Still have questions about your reporting obligations? Read on for a quick rundown of Tier II reporting.

Who needs to submit a Tier II report?

Not every facility with hazardous chemicals must fill out a Tier II report; only companies storing hazardous chemicals above certain thresholds as set by the EPA are required to fill out and submit a report. EPA’s definition of a “hazardous chemical” is any chemical you are required to have a safety data sheet (SDS) for under OSHA’s HazCom standard.

To fulfill EPCRA requirements, facilities are required to submit either a Tier I or Tier II report. However, since the Tier II report includes all of the information found the on the Tier I, plus additional information, most states require use of the more comprehensive Tier II report. To see the Tier II reporting obligations for your state, visit the EPA website and click on the name of your state from the list provided.

What is a Tier II threshold?

The amount of a chemical that triggers a reporting obligation is called the reporting threshold. For instance, most chemicals have a reporting threshold of 10,000 pounds. However, the EPA’s list of Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) in Appendix A and B of 40 CFR Part 355 includes substances with lower reporting thresholds. You must report EHSs stored in quantities that exceed 500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower.  For example, sulfuric acid is an example of an EHS, and is reportable at only 500 pounds of storage, which is easy to exceed if you store as few as two or more large lead-acid lift truck batteries on site. Some TPQs can be as low as 1 pound, which highlights the need to have significant visibility of your chemical inventory.

It is also important to keep in mind that gasoline and diesel stored at retail gas facilities in underground storage tanks (USTs) meeting all EPA UST regulations have separate threshold levels of 100,000 gallons or more of diesel and 75,000 gallons or more of gasoline.

Finally, be sure to check with your state to see if they have more stringent reporting requirements. For example, Alaska requires facilities to report any quantity of certain hazard classes as identified in federal Department of Transportation (DOT) placarding regulations, including Explosives (1.1, 1.2, and 1.3), Poisons (6.1), Poison Hazard Gas (2.3), Flammable Solids (4.1, 4.2, and 4.3) and Radioactive Hazard class 7, in addition to all of the federal requirements.

What Happens If I Don’t Report?

There are several steep penalties for violating Tier II reporting requirements.

At the most basic level, civil monetary penalties can now reach up to $$57,317, thanks to a recent EPA final rule that once again inflation-adjusted penalties to a level about 2.5% higher than 2018 levels.  However, any SERC or LEPC may also bring civil suit against an owner or operator of a facility for failure to provide Tier II information or for failure to provide emergency planning information needed for regional emergency plans. Additionally, some states have statutes that provide for penalties for noncompliance.

Can I Electronically Submit Tier II Forms?

Tier II reporting requirements and procedures vary from state to state. While most states accept electronic or hard copy Tier II forms, some only accept forms submitted online, using state-specific submission software or the EPA’s Tier2 Submit software.,. Once again, be sure to check your state requirements.

Please be aware that EPA updated its Tier II forms in 2017 to align the health and physical hazard categories on the forms with those found with OSHA’s GHS-aligned HazCom Standard. Be sure to use the updated forms if you’re not filing electronically. If you’ve previously used Tier2 Submit or other state-required software and plan to use it again this year, be sure to download and use the latest version of the software.

How Can VelocityEHS | MSDSonline Help?

The latest release of VelocityEHS’ MSDSonline SDS/Chemical Management solutions contains over 350 new and improved features – including, expanded container-level inventory management tools, more robust regulatory cross-referencing features and improved reporting capabilities – that streamline Tier II obligations.

The enhanced release also make it easier for safety professionals to complete Tier II report forms with the newly updated hazard categories corresponding to those in the GHS-aligned Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom or HCS). Users can quickly generate correctly formatted Tier II forms in electronic format that can be uploaded to Tier2 Submit and sent to appropriate LEPCs and SERCs.

For more information about MSDSonline SDS/Chemical Management solutions from VelocityEHS visit www.MSDSonline.com. To learn more about the entire VelocityEHS suite of EHS and sustainability management software products, including an Audit & Inspection solution to help you more accurately review your chemical inventory and manage your storage locations, visit http://www.EHS.com.

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