SARA Title III and NYS Tier II reporting regulations- How does it affect my business?

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) became law in 1986. Title III of these SARA provisions is also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

On December 4, 1984, methyl isocyanate, an extremely toxic chemical escaped from a Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India. Thousands died and many more were injured. Approximately six months later, a similar incident occurred at the Institute, West Virginia. These two events raised concern about local preparedness for chemical emergencies and the availability of information on hazardous chemicals. In response to these concerns, Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) in 1986. EPCRA establishes requirements for federal, state and local governments, Indian tribes, and industry regarding emergency planning and “Community Right-to-Know” reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals. The Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase the public’s knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment. States and communities, working with facilities, can use the information to improve chemical safety and protect public health and the environment.

Hazardous Chemical Storage Reporting

Section 312 of the Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 requires facilities to submit Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reports – also known as Tier II reportsby March 1 each year to their State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and local fire department(s).

Chemicals Reporting Thresholds

Each year you are required to determine the quantity of chemicals stored onsite and determine if these quantities require reporting of the annual Tier II report. NYS Tier II reporting thresholds include:

  • Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) reporting < 500 pounds (227 kg) or < Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ) whichever is less.
  • All other hazardous substance reporting < 10,000 pounds (4,540 kg) or < Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ) whichever is less.
  • Local reporting limits may vary for municipalities and must be determined for you facility.

The Tier II report due on March 1, 2020 must include information on all hazardous chemicals present at your facility during 2019 in amounts that meet or exceed the thresholds mentioned above. Reporting details include the CAS number; a brief description of how and where the chemicals are stored; and estimates of the average daily and maximum yearly amounts of the chemicals present onsite. Failure to comply with Tier II reporting requirements can be costly.

For further information and help to determine if you are required to file, contact Walden Environmental Engineering.

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