EPCRA (Non-Section 313) Amendments and Guidance
Section 311 and 312
- Revised Emergency Planning Notification Requirements for Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) that are Solids in Solution
- Administrative Reporting Exemption for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Animal Waste at Farms
Sections 302, 304, 311, and 312
- Revisions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Hazard Communication Standards (HCS)
- Reporting Options of Section 311 and 312 and Interpretation
Section 311 and 312
This final rule revises the hazard categories for reporting under Sections 311 and 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). On March 26th, 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) by adopting the United Nations Globally Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The changes to OSHA’s HCS affect the reporting requirements under Sections 311 and 312 of EPCRA.
(6 pp, 217 K, About PDF)
On July 13, 2012, EPA amended the Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Forms under Section 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The amendments add new reporting data elements and revise some existing data elements. 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;
- Provide clarity in reporting while maintaining protection of human health and the environment; and
- Impose minimal reporting burden on facilities since the data elements are readily available to the facility.
Organizations and facilities subject to section 312 of EPCRA and its implementing regulations found in 40 CFR 370 may be affected by this rule.
Revised Emergency Planning Notification Requirements for Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) that are Solids in Solution
On March 22, 2012, EPA revised the way regulated facilities apply the threshold planning quantities (TPQs) for Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) that are non-reactive solid chemicals in solution form. Facilities with a non-reactive EHS solid in solution are subject to EPCRA section 302, if the on-site amount of a non-reactive EHS solid in solution, when multiplied by 0.2, equals or exceeds the lower published TPQ. This modification of the application of TPQs for non-reactive EHS solids in solution is based on currently available data. This data shows less potential for the solid in solution to remain airborne in the event of an accidental release. EPA is also clarifying that the use of the 0.2 reducing factor used under 40 CFR part 355, should not be used for compliance with reporting requirements under 40 CFR 370.10.
The final rule potentially affects 157 EHS chemicals that are non-reactive solids at ambient temperature, if they are handled by facilities in a solution form. These 157 chemicals appear with two TPQs (the higher TPQ is 10,000 pounds) in Appendices A and B of 40 CFR part 355. Additionally, this rule does not apply for the 12 solid EHS chemicals that are reactive solids (denoted with “a” in the “Notes” column of Appendices A and B of 40 CFR part 355).
Administrative Reporting Exemption for Air Releases of Hazardous Substances from Animal Waste at Farms
EPA announced a final rule to provide an administrative reporting exemption for releases to the air from animal waste at farms of any hazardous substance at or above the reportable quantity for those hazardous substances. These reports are unnecessary because there is no reasonable expectation that a federal response would be made as a result of such reports. The final rule reduces the burden of complying with Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). In addition, to a limited extent the final rule reduces EPCRA reporting requirements. This rule is effective January 20, 2009.
Sections 302, 304, 311, and 312
EPA finalized several changes to the Emergency Planning (Section 302), Emergency Release Notification (Section 304) and Hazardous Chemical Reporting (Sections 311 and 312) regulations that were proposed on June 8, 1998 (63 FR 31268). These changes include clarification on how to report hazardous chemicals in mixtures, and changes to Tier I and Tier II forms. Additionally, the rules now use a question and answer format. Facilities subject to EPCRA reporting, State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) and fire departments should become familiar with the amendments. This final rule is effective on December 3, 2008.
Regulation: Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act; Amendments to Emergency Planning and Notification; Emergency Release Notification and Hazardous Chemical Reporting, Final Rule | PDF (33 pp, 322 K, About PDF)
This final rule is effective on March 26, 2009.
Past EPCRA Federal Register notices covering emergency planning and notification, and hazardous chemical reporting are available from 1987-2006. See: Older EPCRA Federal Register notices.
EPA issued a fact sheet on the revisions to OSHA HCS due to its adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The fact sheet describes how the changes may affect reporting requirements under EPCRA Section 311 and 312.
EPA provided draft guidance in the preamble to the June 8, 1998, proposed rule (63 FR 31268) to streamline the reporting requirements for facilities under sections 311 and 312 of EPCRA. EPA did not propose any regulatory changes, but sought comments on the reporting options. EPA is now providing guidance on the reporting options. The objective for this guidance is also to provide state and local agencies with flexibility in implementing sections 311 and 312 of EPCRA.