Using Tier II Reporting to Minimize Risks of Off-Site Consequences Reply

Tier II reporting season is coming up. With the March 1 deadline comes the opportunity to not only take a fresh look at the chemicals stored at your facility, but to also see if any of these chemicals, despite being below the reportable thresholds, could trigger an offsite consequence, which has become one of EPA’s enforcement initiatives under the General Duty Clause of Risk Management Planning. Please read below for important updates to Tier II reporting as well as further information on Risk Management Programs and some ways CAPACCIO can assist by minimizing the risks associated with off-site chemical consequences.

Reporting Year 2016 Tier II Reports Due by March 1 & MEMA’s Online Reporting System Information 

Massachusetts facilities covered by the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requirements must submit Tier II reports to their Emergency Planning Committee (EPC), Local Fire Department, and the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) by March 1, 2017. The reference table below may assist you in determining your facility’s applicability to this reporting requirement:

Tier II reporting thresholds:

Extremely hazardous substances (EHS)* 500 pounds (227 kg) or threshold planning quantity, whichever is less.
All other hazardous substances: 10,000 pounds (4,540 kg) for any material that has an SDS
*You may obtain a list of EHS substances on the EPA website here.

MEMA, in coordination with the Massachusetts State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), intends to use the web-based Tier II Manager System for the 2016 Tier II reporting period. It is anticipated that the Tier II Manager System will be available for 2016 reporting by January 9, 2017. MEMA will provide notice to all Tier II Manager System users when the System is available. You may Click here for a link to the online filing system.

The Tier II Manager System is used for filing Tier II reports with the Massachusetts SERC only. Please note that facilities are required to submit separate reports to their respective EPC and Fire Departments.

All Tier II filers must register on the new system, with a limit of one user account per facility. Registration is a one-time process, so if you have already registered to use the Tier II Manager System you do not need to do so again. Previous Tier II data for your facility is preloaded into the system to allow for easier 2016 data reporting.

The SERC is requiring that all RY 2016 Tier II reporting entities submit electronic reports; hard copies will not be accepted.

General Duty Clause and Risk Management Program Clean Air Act EPA Enforcement Initiative

In order to prevent accidents that can cause off-site consequences, Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act established the Risk Management Plan (RMP) program that requires facilities with certain chemicals above regulatory thresholds (see the list in 40 CFR 68) to develop and implement an RMP program that identifies and mitigates the hazards associated with chemical use.

Although the RMP program is only applicable when quantities exceed a certain threshold, the regulation also includes a GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE (GDC) that requires facilities which use ANY AMOUNT of the chemicals on the RMP list (or any amount of an extremely hazardous substance) to understand and mitigate any hazards that could result in off-site consequences.

Therefore, companies need to look at chemicals at their facilities that are on the list in 40 CFR 68 (or are extremely hazardous substances) EVEN IF THEY ARE STORED/USED BELOW REGULATORY THRESHOLDS, and make a determination if there could be a risk of off-site consequences in the event of an accident.

This regulation, and the GDC, are now an enforcement priority for EPA, in part because of a fatality that occurred last year involving a release of gaseous ammonia. The EPA will be using Tier II data as part of their initiative to target facilities that meet the conditions of the GDC.

CAPACCIO’s GDC experts go beyond the basic Tier II reporting, and help you to reduce the risks associated with chemicals stored at your facility that could travel off-site. Our dynamic approaches and levels of GDC support include:

Basic High Level Screening: CAPACCIO will review your company’s Tier II list and/or chemical inventory and select a few chemicals stored in large quantities or extremely hazardous substances to run through the ALOHA model, and determine if there are likely to be off-site consequences.

In-Depth Screening: CAPACCIO will review more chemicals, and will perform ALOHA modeling and subsequent analysis using site specific inputs. We will provide a list of chemicals for which GDC requirements are applicable, and a recommendation to determine what additional work may be required to comply with GDC requirements.

Gap Analysis: CAPACCIO will review your existing standard operating procedures, mechanical integrity programs, and management of change procedures to determine what steps need to be taken to conform to GDC requirements. You will receive a matrix with any gaps that are identified. CAPACCIO can then assist in closing out gaps identified, and assist with the development of an RMP “Lite” Program if desired (see below).

Development of an RMP “Lite” Program: CAPACCIO can help you implement the recommendations that result from the Gap Analysis that may include development of process flow diagrams, procedures and training (if needed), as well as engineering tasks such as preparation of process safety information and off-site consequences analysis.

We can help! Our Tier II and GDC experts can assist you with the reporting and planning challenges as noted above that are associated with these programs. If you have any questions about either the Tier II or GDC programs, please contact Christine Silverman at 508-970-0033 ext. 127 or csilverman@capaccio.com or Alexis Dallaportas at 608-970-0033 ext. 142 or adallasportas@capaccio.com.