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EPA Revised Tier II Reporting Requirements

Posted by Gary Finch on July 2, 2013

The subjects I write about here are usually subjects I’m reviewing in more detail for Compliance Plus customers. That is the case today as I’m moving away from OSHA to address some new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There are some terms I need to introduce.

     EPCRA         – Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act

     SARA                      – Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act

     CERLA         – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

     Tier II                      – Chemical Inventory Reporting Forms

  On July 3, 2012, EPA amended the Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) to add new data elements and revise some existing data elements. The amendments are intended to meet the purpose of EPCRA, which is “…to encourage and support state and local planning for emergencies caused by the release of hazardous chemicals and to provide citizens and governments with information concerning potential chemical hazards present in their communities.”

  The revisions: 

     respond to stakeholder requests, EPA is proposing to add new data elements to the Tier I and Tier II forms in an effort to make the forms more useful for state, local, and tribal agencies;

     make reporting easier for facilities;

     are intended to provide clarity in reporting while maintaining protection of human health and the environment; and

     may impose minimal reporting burden on facilities since the data elements proposed are readily available to the facility. Revising the existing data elements will make the forms more user-friendly and ease reporting requirements for facilities.

  How does this affect the typical funeral home? Any state can use federal thresholds or develop their own. To find out your state requirements, visit this website: http://www.epa.gov/osweroe1/content/epcra/tier2.htm

  Formaldehyde is the chemical that is likely to be over the threshold limit. If you are, this requires you to make an annual report. Because it is categorized as dangerous, the threshold is only 100 pounds for solids and 100 pounds for solutions. All chemicals are listed on something called the List of Lists. I did an Adobe PDF search for Glutaraldehyde and there were no hits. I assume Glutaraldehyde, even if you have a thousand pounds, does not need to be reported.

  It is interesting to note that the EPA claims a relationship with OSHA’s Right to Know rules that are part of the Hazard Communication Act. That is pretty much a one way claim. The EPA does not have inspectors that knock on doors. If a fire department or someone in your local reporting chain were to report you, I assume it might result in a fine. Basically, the EPA just wants everyone to report chemicals on premise that exceeds the threshold. Once you are set up, it is an annual report. I do not see this as a compliance headache.



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