In 1986, Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, commonly known as EPCRA. This bill requires each governor to appoint a State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) which then divides the state into planning districts responsible for appointing Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs).
Facilities covered by EPCRA are required to submit an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form (Tier 2 Submit) to their LEPC (on Cape Cod, this is the BCREPC), the SERC and their local fire department by March 1st of each year.
The Basics of a Tier 2 Report
This hazardous chemical inventory report (Tier 2) is done on a downloaded reporting form from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website. Each year, the EPA and NOAA update the reporting form and then post it for reporting purposes. Tier 2 Submit forms require basic facility identification information, employee contact information for both emergencies and non-emergencies, and information about chemicals stored, delivered to, or used at the facility.
On behalf of the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC), which includes Cape Cod and Nantucket, Amy L. Wallace, Emergency Preparedness Project Assistant, is available to assist all facility submitters with their annual reporting obligations. The process of filing this federally mandated/enforced chemical report typically begins January 1st of each calendar year, with a deadline of March 1st.
Who Should File a Tier 2 Report by March 1st?
Private/public/government facilities must report their inventories of hazardous and toxic chemicals if they meet established thresholds and requirements under the sections of the EPCRA law. If a facility is found to have hazardous chemicals at a threshold of 10,000 pounds or greater, or Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) at smaller established thresholds, these need to be reported annually under EPCRA. This will not be a one time process; but an annual obligation by the facility to provide chemical storage, quantity, and transportation data, as well as current emergency contact information.
Why Should My Facility File a Tier 2?
Chemical information from the Tier 2 reports provides essential data to our local first responders and enables them to pre-plan for hazardous material incidences and disasters in our communities on Cape Cod and Nantucket. Your Tier 2 report also increases the public’s knowledge and legal right to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. In other words, the Tier 2 reporting process protects you from a potential liability.
Chemical inventory assessment, reporting, contingency planning and spill response are mandatory under EPCRA and extremely important to all businesses and municipal facilities. Facilities must take the correct steps to understand if they must file a Tier 2 report for their facility by March 1st. Compliance with EPCRA can help facilities avoid potential penalties which can result in civil and administrative fines ranging upwards to $10,000 – $75,000 per violation, or per day per violation. If a facility fails to comply with the reporting requirements, the EPA enforcement office views non-reporting as non-compliance!
Should You be Reporting Your HazMat Under the EPCRA Law?
If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions below, you should contact the BCREPC and report this information to protect your facility and our first responders:
- Do you have reportable Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQs) of chemical-based, hazardous and toxic chemicals in your facility?
- Have the types and/or quantities of chemicals at your facility increased or decreased, and still meet the TPQ in the last calendar year?
- Have the specific types of chemical products at your facility changed, and still meet the TPQ in the last calendar year?
- Has significant new information been made available on the MSDS for your chemical products/extremely hazardous substances, which meet the TPQ, in the last calendar year?
- Has your facility eliminated ALL hazardous, toxic and chemical-based products that you previously reported under EPCRA?
Who Can I Contact With Questions and for HELP in Filing a Tier 2?
The Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC) is available, year round, to provide information and assistance to any facilities (referred to as “Tier I and Tier II Reporters”) in an effort to improve chemical and hazardous waste storage, maintain worker safety, lower business and facility liabilities, and educate facility staff on spill contingency planning in-house in order to protect public health, property values and the environment.
The local EPCRA Compliance Representative, Amy L. Wallace, has 22 years of labor, administrative and compliance experience in hazardous materials. She assists approximately 330 Tier 2 facilities on Cape Cod and Nantucket each year with the following services at no charge:
- Confidential consultations onsite or at the BCDHE offices.
- Report filing assistance. Step by step instruction to file thoroughly and on time each year.
- Year-round hazardous material question and answer help, guidance and referrals.
- Tier 2 Hazardous Chemical Emergency Reporting Workshops that provide new mandates in reporting and locally required data changes.
- Hazardous Materials Awareness trainings.
- Facility Emergency Response training.
- Hazardous Materials Personal Protective Equipment training.
For more information, please contact:
Amy L. Wallace, MRP
Emergency Preparedness Project Assistant/EPCRA Compliance Representative
Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment/BCREPC
Barnstable Superior Courthouse Complex – Old Jail Building
P.O. Box 427
Barnstable, MA 02630
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM