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EPA has updated the Tier 2 Submit 2018 Software webpage with the latest software.  New this year is a Physical and Health Hazards Cross-Walk document to help users select appropriate hazards from the safety data sheets (SDSs).  The updated software helps users align the physical hazards and health hazards with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) and Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  The change implemented last year promotes consistency between the SDS and Tier 2 hazards reporting but was difficult for users due to different terms in the Tier 2 forms and SDSs.  The cross-walk document released in December 2018 is intended to help users properly classify and report chemical hazards.

Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA) Tier 2 reports are due March 1 each year.  This reporting requirement applies to all facilities with any OSHA hazardous chemicals onsite at 10,000 pounds or more.  Some chemicals, such as extremely hazardous substances (EHSs), have lower thresholds (500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is less).  There are a few exemptions from Tier 2 reporting which are described on EPA’s website at this link.  Refer to 40 CFR 370 for more details.

It’s a good time to review EPCRA Section 302 planning as well.  EHS Facility Emergency Response Plans (EHS FERP) are generally due March 1, but due dates vary by county.  They are required for EHSs present above threshold planning quantities (TPQs)as published in Appendices A and B to 40 CFR 355.  A template of the EHS FERP format is available on KERC Form 301-PT.  Refer to 40 CFR 355 Subpart B.

The most common error I find in Tier 2 reports and Section 302 plans is reporting of sulfuric acid in batteries.  It only takes a few battery powered forklifts to trigger EPCRA planning and reporting requirements.

EPCRA Program

Sulfuric Acid Threshold

Which Batteries to Include?

Section 302 Planning (called EHS FERP in Kentucky). 1,000 pounds All sulfuric acid at the facility.
Section 311 and 312 (including Tier 2 reporting). 500 pounds Sulfuric acid at the facility which is not exempted.  Typically count industrial batteries in forklifts and other equipment and battery banks.  Do not include consumer products packaged for distribution and use for the general public unless they are wired together.  This exemption includes batteries which are generally small and can be bought at department stores or automobile supply stores

Developing a sulfuric acid inventory at a large facility can be tedious.  We suggest an inventory of vehicles owned by the site and using some conservative values for typical vehicle batteries.  Don’t forget to include in the inventory backup power supplies (UPSs) for computers and other systems.

Visit the Kentucky Emergency Management SARA Title III webpage to check for updated information.  For basic EPCRA information checkout my favorite factsheet on EPCRA from the EPA website.  I routinely assist clients with EPCRA compliance.  Contact me for more information at 502-587-6482 x 211 or pattym@smithmanage.com.

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Environmental Management & Engineering

New Facility Permitting


A large alcoholic beverage company was planning to construct a distillery along a lake in Kentucky and use the fresh limestone water for bourbon production. The proposed site was a former farm with historic activities dating back to the 1880s. A water intake structure was required in the lake and along the adjacent shoreline which was owned by others. Several ephemeral and intermittent streams would be impacted by the construction. The client needed a US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 Permit, a Kentucky Division of Water 401 Water Quality Certification, a water withdrawal permit, a permit for construction in and along a stream, and a construction stormwater permit. Additionally, an air permit was required prior to construction for the aging warehouses, distillery equipment, and other emission units. Evaluation for cultural and historic resources and endangered species evaluations were required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA).
As the construction proceeded and operations began, a number of operating permits and environmental and hazardous materials compliance plans were required. The project required coordination with the nearby city for drinking water use and industrial wastewater pretreatment and discharge. Recordkeeping and reporting were needed prior to facility personnel being mobilized to the site. Set up and management of environmental systems during the transition to full operations was needed.


During the planning and initial construction phases, SMG managed the environmental permitting and environmental compliance for the site. The process involved application preparation and coordination with multiple regulatory agencies including the USACE, Kentucky Division of Water, Kentucky Division of Air Quality, US Fish and Wildlife Services, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Kentucky Heritage Council, and local agencies. Permits included stream mitigation, cultural and historic resources investigation, coordination with state and federal Fish and Wildlife agencies, and State 401 water quality certification, and the Section 404 permit, which required wetland and stream delineation. SMG coordinated with the client’s project team to minimize stream impacts and to adhere to the schedule by expediting the permit processing. State stream construction, water withdrawal, and air permits were also obtained. SMG provided onsite observation to assess contractor compliance with the stormwater permit and managed environmental permit reporting.
During the later construction phase, SMG managed the environmental permitting and compliance for the new distillery. The initial environmental and hazardous material compliance plans (GPP, HMPC, and SWPPP) were prepared and applications for operating permits, such as industrial wastewater pretreatment and discharge and industrial stormwater discharge, were readied and submitted. SMG provided training to the initial employees regarding hazardous material management and groundwater/stormwater protection. SMG worked with the new Risk Manager for the site to transition responsibility for environmental and hazardous material compliance.


SMG’s management of the environmental planning and permitting for the facility, successfully supported the construction schedule and managed environmental compliance for the initial site operations. SMG continued to work with the owner to obtain remaining operational permits and to transition environmental compliance responsibilities to the new facility staff to support startup and initial operations. The facility was completed on schedule and provides a significant economic benefit to the surrounding community.