Here we discuss what needs to be included in your Tier II Reporting.
Our phones are ringing off the hook these last few weeks with people asking for more information about Tier II Reporting. We're getting a lot of folks ask us about the materials or chemicals that have to be included. People want to know
What's included in Tier II Reporting?
Let's make sure we're all on the same page real quick. This can also be called Community Right-to-Know Reporting, or CRTK Reporting, or even Section 311/312 Reporting (based on the EPCRA regulations). If you're unsure what Tier II Community-Right-to-Know reporting is, check out our article on what is Tier II Reporting? More of a visual learner? Download our infographic instead to learn more about it.
Regardless of what you call it, it's the same kind of reporting. And, making sure you report correctly can make the difference between an easy exercise and a major violation and penalty, so it's important to get it right. Here, we go over the basics of how you determine what needs to be reported for Community Right-to-Know reporting.
What's included in Tier II Reporting?
It's a great question, and frankly one that you should be asking yourself every year. Too many facilities subject to the reporting requirement just pencil in that same report that's been submitted for years, which, from our experience, is usually inaccurate or incomplete, meaning you're not reporting correctly, meaning you could face penalties and violations.
Or, a lot of facilities just flat-out don't think Tier II Reporting is applicable to them. We hear it a lot: "we don't have any hazardous or toxic chemicals, so we don't have to report - RIGHT?" In most cases, the answer is NO! You probably do have to report!
So what needs to be reported under Tier II requirements?
- First of all, let's remember that Tier II reporting is required for ANY facility of any type that has SDS (Safety Data Sheets, formerly known as MSDS) for any type of hazardous material stored or used in the workplace as required under OSHA regulations. So, simply put, if you have an SDS for it, it's considered hazardous.
- Not everything needs to be reported. It has to be present at any one point in time. I refer to it as a "snapshot" of what I might see at your facility if I just showed up randomly, like a regulator would.
- For most hazardous materials / chemicals, the reporting threshold is 10,000 pounds. Some nasty materials have a threshold of 100 pounds, while others have 50 ton thresholds. You have to do a little bit of homework to find out the threshold for your materials.
- And remember - it's pounds, not gallons. For liquids, you'll have to convert gallons to pounds using the information provided in the SDS.
- There are different thresholds for gasoline and diesel fuel at retail gas stations. Get that clear, if you're a retail fuel operation, you have different requirements.
Got it? If you have an SDS for it, and it's present at any point in time during the year in excess of 10,000 pounds, it has to be reported.
Do I have reportable amounts of Tier II Reporting materials?
So how many materials / chemicals do you have at your facility that meet this criteria? Looking around, you'll probably find at least a few if you're like everyone else. Chemicals, solvents, fuels, raw materials, waste materials, liquids, solids, etc. If you have a material that meets the criteria above it has to be reported.
A lot of people we talk to about this immediately go crazy thinking of all the possibilities that they might have to report. "We have an SDS for janitorial products we use at our plant, do we have to report that too?".
Probably not, unless you guys are stockpiling Ajax or Ty-D-Bol.
Remember the criteria. You might have an SDS for it, but if you don't store more than 10,000 pounds of that material or product at one time, then you don't need to report it. Sure, a lot of big facilities might be reporting hundreds of hazardous materials or chemicals, but for most, it's probably a handful at most.
It's not as complicated as you think! In fact, we think a lot of you folks out there can probably tackle it on your own, and we've compiled an e-book on 8 tips on how to do your own Tier II Reporting.
One of the problems is that most facilities fail to review their SDS every year. Very likely, your vendors have changed, or your products have changed, or your process has changed, or the amount you keep on site has changed... SOMETHING has changed! What you reported 10 years ago or perhaps even last year, most likely isn't the same as this year. Do yourself a favor, review it every year for accuracy and completeness, or you'll be risking enforcement actions.
This reporting, due March 1st of every year, is done electronically and goes to your state and local emergency planning and response agencies, which is a good thing. That way, they'll be better prepared should a fire, explosion, gas leak, or whatever occur at your plant. Great insurance! It also makes this information publicly available ("community right to know"), so your neighbors know what sort of concerns they should have living near your facility. While this might seem unsettling, it is the law. Not sure where your information gets reported to? Check out our article on who does Tier II Reporting go to?
Your best bet? Start early, review your SDS and inventory records carefully each year, and get your reports in accurately, completely, and on time. You'll find that Tier II reporting really isn't something to be scared of.
To learn more, click here to contact us for Tier II Reporting help, or give us a call at 609-693-8301 to learn more about what you need to do to stay in compliance with Tier II Community Right-to-Know regulations.