hazardous chemicals

The Basics of Community RTK – SARA Title III – Tier II Reporting

The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), which is also called SARA Title III, was enacted in October of 1986. It allows states and local emergency planning committees to remain informed in the case of an emergency with regard to hazardous substances. If there were ever any kind of spill or other emergency situation at facilities that retain hazardous substances, local responders would be prepared to handle the situation. This information is made public so that citizens can remain informed in matters that may affect them, hence the term Community Right to Know.

Anyone who is covered by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and stores hazardous chemicals or Extremely Hazardous Substances in certain quantities must submit a report. 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. A hazardous chemical (i.e. motor oil, antifreeze, diesel, gasoline, etc.) is any product that presents any kind of physical or health hazard to the user. A list of Extremely Hazardous Substances (i.e. ammonia, sulfuric acid, chlorine, etc.) can be found on EPA’s website.

Tier II reports must be filed by March 1st for the previous calendar year. Reports need to be filed annually. Tier II reports are required by Federal law, and must be submitted to your Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), State Emergency Reporting Commission (SERC), and the local fire department. Check your state requirements to find out which report to file and how to file (some want you to file online, others want paper forms submitted).

It makes sense to comply with SARA Title III Regulations. If there were ever any kind of emergency situation at your facility involving hazardous chemicals, local emergency responders would know how to respond because of the information you provided them with. And fines can be extremely hefty for not complying with the reporting requirements.

One final note: in July of 2012, EPA published a final rule which will become effective on January 1, 2014. This rule revised the chemical reporting section of the Tier I and Tier II reporting forms. For this year, you can use the old forms, but next year (reporting year 2013, due by March 1, 2014) you will need to use the revised forms.

 

This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.