What is Tier II Reporting?
Tier II reports are forms that organizations and businesses in the United States with hazardous chemicals above certain quantities, are required to fill out by the EPA. Known officially as Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms, Tier II Reports are submitted annually to local fire departments, Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) and State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) to help those agencies plan for and respond to chemical emergencies.
Mandated by Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) – also known as SARA Title III – the Tier II form captures information about the types, quantities and locations of hazardous chemicals at a given facility. The form also lists contact information for the facility’s designated emergency point-of-contact.
EPCRA actually allows for the submission of 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 the 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.
To determine if you have chemicals in quantities that require Tier II reporting, check the EPA’s List of Lists. MSDSonline’s HQ and HQ RegXR accounts make determining your reporting obligations and generating submittable Tier II reports easy.
Tier II Violations
Tier II reports are due March 1 for the previous calendar year. Penalties for violations of Section 312 of SARA Title III can reach up to $27,500 for each violation. Fines add up quickly since each day a violation continues to exist constitutes a separate violation.
It’s important to note that businesses or facilities with Tier II reporting obligations will likely have additional obligations under SARA Title III. For instance, Section 311 of SARA Title III requires facilities with chemicals above certain thresholds to provide MSDSs for those chemicals to local and state emergency planning agencies. Facilities with obligations under Section 311 also have obligations under 312. In other words, if you have to provide MSDSs to emergency planning agencies because of Section 311, then you have to submit a Tier II report for Section 312.
Tier II State Requirements
While Tier II is a federal obligation mandated by the EPA, reporting is done on the state and local level. To ensure full compliance, check the reporting requirements and procedures for your state.
Tier II Thresholds
Not every facility with hazardous chemicals must fill out a Tier II Report. Only those companies with hazardous chemicals above a certain threshold are required to fill out a form. The amount of a chemical that triggers a reporting obligation is called the reporting threshold.
Different chemicals have different reporting thresholds and you should always check the thresholds for the chemicals in your facility. For instance, for most chemicals the reporting threshold is 10,000 pounds. Yet, the EPA has a list of Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) for which the reporting threshold is only 500 pounds.
Furthermore, some EHSs have even lower reportable thresholds called the threshold planning quantity (TPQ). A TPQ could be as low as 1 pound. For Tier II Reporting purposes, facilities would use either the reporting threshold or the TPQ, whichever is lower.
Tier II Electronic Submission
Many states allow for (or require) electronic filing. This is done either through state submission software or the EPA- and NOAA-developed “Tier2 Submit” software. If you have used the EPA’s Tier2 Submit in previous years, and are planning to use it again this year, be sure to download and use the latest version of the software. Visit the EPA website to learn about your state’s Tier II reporting requirements and procedures.
For more information about Tier II reporting requirements, visit the EPA website.