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.