Change of ownership and responsibility for Tier II reporting
A facility changed ownership during the third quarter of the 1990 calendar year. Which owner/operator is responsible for the submission of Section 312 Tier II form for the calendar year 1990?
Both owners and operators have responsibility for reporting under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). While it is not required under Sections 311 and 312, it would further the purposes of EPCRA if owners and operators informed the State or Tribal Emergency Response Commission (SERC or TERC) about the change in ownership of a facility. Specifically, 40 CFR 355.20 requires that the owner or operator of a facility subject to Sections 302 and 303 inform the Local or Tribal Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC or TEPC) within 30 days of any change that occurred that is relevant to emergency planning. Also, the SERC/TERC should be consulted to determine if two separate reports, one for each period of ownership, are preferred to be filed, or if one combined report capturing all information for the entire year is more desirable.
Parties may wish to address who will report and the provisions of necessary records in the purchase agreement. Of course, a person who is liable for reporting cannot shed his liability through any private arrangement such as a purchase agreement.