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EPA Finalizes EPCRA Form Changes

07/13/12

Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: EPCRA

Today, EPA published final changes to its Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know (EPCRA) emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms (the Tier I and Tier II reporting requirements) in the Federal Register.  The changes narrow the codes for how much of a hazardous material is stored on site, and clarify how chemical mixtures are reported.  The revisions are intended to help state and local emergency planners by adding new data elements to make the forms more useful, and to change existing elements to ease reporting. 

Under the final rule, the EPA is requiring that facilities report the following:

  • Facility latitude and longitude and facility identification numbers assigned under EPCRA’s TRI program and the Clean Air Act’s risk management program (RMP);
  • Whether the location where the hazardous chemicals are stored is manned or unmanned;
  • The maximum number of occupants that may be present at the facility at any one time (amending the requirement to report the number of full-time employees);
  • Contact information for the facility emergency coordinator, Tier 1 and Tier II contact information, and the e-mail addresses of the owner or operator and emergency contact(s);
  • Contact information for the emergency coordinator for facilities subject to EPCRA Section 302. Section 302 requires that facilities provide the SERC and LEPC with a onetime notification if there are any extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) present at the site in excess of their threshold planning quantities;
  • Data elements to indicate if the facility is subject to EPCRA Section 302 and if the facility is subject to the RMP;
  • Information on whether there are pure chemicals or mixtures at the facility; and
  • A description of the storage types and conditions.

EPA argues that the existing codes were “very broad”  and “not as useful as specific quantity information for effective emergency response planning.”  Thus, “in order for states, local agencies and emergency response officials to have information on the maximum amount  and average daily amount that are closer to the actual amounts present at the facility,” EPA is narrowing the ranges.  (The reporting threshold for extremely hazardous substances ranges from 500 pounds for many chemicals to 1 pound for others.)

The rule becomes effective on January 1, 2014.  (Thus, March 1, 2014, is the first annual deadline for which new forms must be submitted.)
 







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