We discuss some common elements that can impact Tier II / Community Right to Know Reporting costs and prices at your facility.
With a little less than 2 months until Tier II Reporting is due, folks are scrambling to either get it done in-house or hire a consultant to take care of it for them. But, since many companies aren't even sure what this reporting entails, few are even sure what they should be paying for a consultant to conduct the reporting for them.
For instance, last week we received an email from someone who visited our website.
"We need help. How much does Community Right to Know Reporting cost?"
Simple enough question, right? No one (including me) wants to blindly hire anyone for anything, especially some nebulous environmental regulation.
We called them and discussed their needs, and let them know that blindly quoting them a price for Tier II Reporting would either be overcharging them or selling ourselves short. Here's why.
How much does Tier II Reporting cost?
First off, are you familiar with Tier II Reporting? We call it a lot of things, as do our clients, so make sure you're familiar with what Tier II Reporting is.
If you're confused about the terminology, don't worry, you're not alone. Tier II Reporting, Community Right to Know Reporting, and CRTK Reporting are all referring to the same thing. There's a few different things people call it, but it's all the same reporting methodologies I'm referring to here.
Ok, so let's talk prices for Community Right to Know Reporting.
Here's the short answer: It depends.
Just like buying a new car or an in-ground swimming pool, there's going to be variables that impact the price. The same can be said with reporting, so let's discuss some of the biggest factors that can impact the price of Tier II Reporting.
The average price or cost of Tier II Reporting.
Here's the answer you're looking for.
The average cost or price for Tier II Reporting is anywhere between $750 to $5,000 and upwards, depending on your facility, your previous experience with reporting, how much work a consultant will have to put into the job, and how ready you are for reporting.
That's a wide range, but from our years of conducting reporting, we've found 95% of all our clients have fallen into that price range. Unless you're a bizarre facility or there's some strange variable we don't normally consider, you too can expect to pay those prices, regardless of who you hire.
Let's dive into it and disuss some things that can alter the price of reporting.
6 Factors Impacting the Price or Cost of Tier II Community Right to Know Reporting
From our years of doing this, we've found these are generally the 6 largest factors that impact Tier II Reporting costs.
1 - Tier II Reporting costs can vary depending on your location.
You might not think it, but reporting requirements can vary widely depending on where you're located. Let me illustrate.
We work for a few facilities down in our nation's capital. Community Right to Know Reporting costs for them are lower than facilities that we work for here in New Jersey, which is where we call home.
How come? Two words: Red. Tape. It's typical government inefficiency that makes this more expensive for you. For example:
In Washington DC, one report is sent to one person via one electronic form. That's it.
In New Jersey, it's a bit more complicated. Obviously things will vary from town to town and county to county, but here's how it normally goes for our New Jersey clients.
Send a physical paper report to the local police department, along with a copy of every SDS we're reporting on. It's a big stack of paper for them to (hopefully) sift through.
Send the same thing to the local fire department.
Send the same thing to an emergency planning official in the county government.
Send the same thing to an environmental official in the county government.
Use antiquated online software and submit the report electronically to the NJDEP.
Understand why it's cheaper for our clients in Washington DC now?
Where you're located can greatly impact the amount of time, and the complexity of the reports, and can either drive Community Right to Know Reporting costs up or down drastically.
2 - Costs for Community Right to Know Reporting depends on what you have on site.
Most folks think bigger, more complex sites equate to higher prices for Tier II Reporting.
Simply put, that's not always the case.
For instance. Let's say you're operating a facility the size of a professional football stadium that only keeps chemicals in clearly marked, easily identifiable 100,000-gallon tanks. You're using 5 tanks of chemicals and that's it. We only care about the tanks, not your facility in general, so we'll most likely be ignoring the rest of the site since everything's in a few tanks.
In that instance, a large facility would be easier.
Conversely, if you're running an operation with multiple tanks of various sizes filled with various chemicals scattered across your operation, it'll be like a scavenger hunt making sure we get everything. In this case, it's going to be more expensive.
Just as an aside, know that Community Right to Know reporting is not limited just to chemicals in tanks as in the example above, it's any type of hazardous material on your site above reporting thresholds, regardless of how they're being stored.
It really all boils down to what do you have on site, how's it organized, and how hard it's going to be to identify and quantify what you have. The size or complexity of your operation rarely is going to impact the price of Community Right to Know Reporting.
3 - The prices for Tier II Reporting depends on you, personally.
I'm not saying you're not up to the task, but take a step back and ask yourself how ready are you to report?
Let's make an analogy with taxes.
Are you the guy walking into your accountant with a shoebox full of coffee-stained receipts? Or, are you the guy with a slick Excel document, collated bank statements, and a USB thumb drive of your scanned receipts in a neat, logical order?
If you’re the guy with a shoebox of receipts when it comes to Tier II Reporting, it's going to cost you more because whoever you hire to come in and get your reporting done is going to have a lot of work to do.
If you don't have anything prepared, a consultant would likely need to fully evaluate your facility which could include a comprehensive review of your SDS, your chemical purchasing invoices, a thorough site visit, contacting your chemical providers for updated SDS sheets if necessary, etc. This can take time, and time = money, so you can expect the price to go up.
However, if all your ducks are in a row, then when hiring an outside expert, you can expect a lower cost for Tier II Reporting than other less organized individuals.
4 - The cost of Tier II Community Right to Know Reporting is higher for those new to reporting.
This is easy to explain. If you've never reported before, there is going to be setup time to get you into "the system".
There are registration steps, which could be anything from filing electronically, to submitting physical paperwork. You'll need information about your facility, your chemicals, updated SDS sheets, you'll need various identification numbers for your facility.
Conversely, like those who are more organized, if you're already in the system, then you can normally expect a lower price for Tier II Reporting.
5 - Community Right to Know Reporting costs vary from consulting firm to consulting firm.
Let's use taxes again.
If you're using your local accountant who you've known for years, chances are the price for preparing your taxes won't cost you an arm and a leg. Using a smaller, more intimate accounting firm, especially one you've already established a relationship with will likely mean they're your cheaper option.
However, if you're randomly calling a large, nationwide accounting firm, chances are you're going to pay a premium to work with them.
Consider the same with Community Right to Know Reporting prices. If you called your local consultant, vs a large nationwide firm, chances are the local guy is going to be cheaper.
Some people like paying for that premium name while others just want it done and don't care. So when it comes to Tier II Reporting costs, factor that in initially. Who are you calling and do you have any pre-existing relationship with them?
6 - Prices for Tier II Reporting depend on when you hire someone.
Let's use taxes one last time.
You walk into your accountant's office on January 1st, and have everything ready to go for the previous year. You've given yourself, and your accountant, plenty of time to review the information, make sure everything looks correct, and file.
Now imagine you walk in an hour before closing time the day before taxes are due. Expect to pay a premium to get your taxes in, if it's even possible.
The same goes with reporting. The costs for Community Right to Know Reporting absolutely depend on when you decide to hire someone. If you pick up the phone months ahead of time then you should pay a normal rate. However, if you call the day before it's due, expect to pay a lot more.
Point is, don't wait until the last minute or you can expect steeper prices for Community Right to Know Reporting.
To save on Tier II Reporting costs, start evaluating your needs today.
I tell people all the time that really, a lot of the variables are going to depend on you specifically. I know it's not exactly what everyone wants to hear, but it's the way it goes with any environmental reporting that's tied to a deadline.
So as you can see, and as I explained to the folks on the phone, the cost for Tier II Community Right to Know Reporting can vary widely.