On July 13, 2012, the U.S. EPA issued a final rule revising the hazardous chemical reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The final rule adds new mandatory data reporting requirements and amends the EPCRA Tier I and Tier II chemical inventory forms. See 77 Federal Register 41300. This rule modifies reporting obligations under an existing EPCRA reporting mandate applicable to most manufacturers and many other businesses that use or store hazardous chemicals.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act requires facilities that produce, use or store hazardous chemicals in amounts equal to or greater than established threshold quantities to maintain material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for the applicable chemicals. Section 311 of EPCRA requires these facilities to submit the MSDSs (or a list of them) to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), the Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC) and the local fire department with jurisdiction over the facility.
EPCRA Section 312 and its implementing regulations (40 CFR Part 370) require facilities covered under Section 311 to also submit annual Tier I or Tier II chemical inventory forms to the SERC, LEPC and local fire department. The new rule adds the following reporting requirements to the inventory forms:
- The latitude and longitude of the facility.
- The identification numbers assigned under EPCRA's Toxic Release Inventory Program and the Clean Air Act Section 112(r) Risk Management Program.
- Whether the location where the hazardous chemicals are stored is manned or unmanned.
- The maximum number of occupants that may be present at the facility at one time, revising the previous requirement to report the number of full-time employees at the facility.
- Contact information for the facility's emergency coordinator, Tier I and Tier II contact information, and email addresses of the owner/operator and emergency contact(s).
- Contact information for the emergency coordinator for facilities subject to EPCRA Section 302, which requires facilities storing Extremely Hazardous Substances above their threshold planning quantities to give one-time notification to the SERC and LEPC.
- A description of the storage types and conditions instead of listing codes for storage types, so local responders will not have to determine what each code represents when responding to emergencies.
Under the new rule, the Tier II forms will also include the following data fields:
- A table of range codes and amounts for reporting maximum and average daily chemical amounts.
- Separate data fields for reporting pure chemicals and mixtures in the chemical reporting section of the form.
- A section for facilities to report any additional state or local reporting requirements.
Facilities must submit the chemical inventory forms for each reporting period by March 1 of the following year. This rule becomes effective on January 1, 2014. The new Tier I and II requirements will therefore first apply for the 2013 reporting year.