EPCRA Sections 311-312
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reporting Requirements
For any hazardous chemical used or stored in the workplace, facilities must maintain a material safety data sheet (MSDS) (or Safety Data Sheet, SDS). Facilities must submit MSDSs (or SDSs), or a list of hazardous chemicals, to their State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and local fire department.
Facilities must also submit an annual inventory of these chemicals by March 1 of each year to their SERC, LEPC and local fire department. The information submitted by facilities must be made available to the public.
- What facilities are covered?
- What is a hazardous chemical?
- What are facilities required to do?
- How do I submit a Tier I or Tier II Inventory Report?
- Where can I find more information on these requirements?
Any facility that is required to maintain MSDSs (or SDSs) under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations for hazardous chemicals stored or used in the work place.
Facilities with chemicals in quantities that equal or exceed the following thresholds must report:
- For Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs)(40 CFR part 355 Appendix A and Appendix B (PDF)), either 500 pounds or the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower.
- For gasoline (all grades combined) at a retail gas station, the threshold level is 75,000 gallons (or approximately 283,900 liters), if the tank(s) was stored entirely underground and was in compliance at all times during the preceding calendar year with all applicable Underground Storage Tank (UST) requirements at 40 CFR part 280 or requirements of the State UST program approved by the Agency under 40 CFR part 281.
- For diesel fuel (all grades combined) at a retail gas station, the threshold level is 100,000 gallons (or approximately 378,500 liters), if the tank(s) was stored entirely underground and the tank(s) was in compliance at all times during the preceding calendar year with all applicable UST requirements at 40 CFR part 280 or requirements of the State UST program approved by the Agency under 40 CFR part 281.
- For all other hazardous chemicals: 10,000 pounds.
Hazardous chemicals are substances for which a facility must maintain a MSDS (or SDS) under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, which lists the criteria used to identify a hazardous chemical. MSDSs (or SDSs) are detailed information sheets that provide data on health hazards and physical hazards of chemicals along with associated protective measures. Over 500,000 products have MSDSs (SDSs) which are normally obtained from the chemical manufacturer.
- Under Section 311 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities must submit the MSDSs (or SDSs) of hazardous chemicals present on-site at or above the reporting threshold to their SERC, LEPC, and local fire department. Facilities may choose to submit a list of the hazardous chemicals grouped into hazard categories instead. This is a one-time submittal. New facilities have three months after becoming subject to the OSHA regulations to submit their MSDSs (or SDSs) or the list of the hazardous chemicals to their SERC, LEPC, and the fire department.
- Facilities that need to submit MSDSs (or SDSs) or the list of hazardous chemicals under Section 311, also need to submit an annual inventory report for the same chemicals (EPCRA Section 312). This inventory report must be submitted to the SERC, LEPC and local fire department by March 1 of each year.
Facilities covered by these requirements must submit an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form to their SERC, LEPC and the local fire department annually. Facilities provide either a Tier I or Tier II form. Most states require the Tier II form. Tier II forms require basic facility identification information, employee contact information for both emergencies and non-emergencies, and information about chemicals stored or used at the facility. EPA recently revised the Tier II form to include additional data elements which would be useful of local planners and responders.
The following is a list of some of the information required on the inventory form:
- The chemical name or the common name as indicated on the MSDS (or SDS)
- An estimate of the maximum amount of the chemical present at any time during the preceding calendar year and the average daily amount
- A brief description of the manner of storage of the chemical
- The location of the chemical at the facility
- An indication of whether the owner of the facility elects to withhold location information from disclosure to the public