The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 was created to help communities plan for chemical emergencies. It also requires the industry to report hazardous substances’ storage, use, and release to federal, state, and local governments. EPCRA involves state and local governments and Indian tribes to use this information to prepare for and protect their communities from potential risks. These forms are to be submitted electronically annually on or before July 1st based on the previous calendar year’s activities.
What is Form R Reporting?
Form R Falls Under the US Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313. Section 13 establishes a US federal Toxic Release Inventory or TRI. This Requires companies covered under this section to report annually on emissions, discharges, and off-site disposal of regulated chemicals exceeding manufacture/process/use thresholds.
Why is it Important?
It aids first responders such as hazmat teams, EMS, and fire departments in dealing with emergencies. It improves responses because the first responders know what they are dealing with in advance. Hit helps prevent emergencies from getting worse and protects the community at large. The EPA makes reported data publicly available through its website.
General regulatory requirements
Form R is very different from EPCRA 312 Tier II reporting. Tier II reporting is a regulatory requirement by the EPA and falls under the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). Submission of Tier II form is required under Sections 311 and 312. Submissions are due no later than March 1, 2022, and failure to file may result in heavy fines based on violations. Some states have statutes that address and define penalties for non-compliance.
Key points include:
- Companies that employ 10+ full-time equivalent employees
- Manufactures, processes, or otherwise uses a TRI-listed chemical in quantities above threshold levels in a given year.
- Requires certain facilities (based on SIC/NAICS Code) to report releases of a specific set of chemicals where thresholds are exceeded.
- 212 Mining
- 221 Utilities
- 31 – 33 Manufacturing
- All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing (includes 1119, 1131, 2111, 4883, 5417, 8114)
- 424 Merchant Wholesalers, Non-durable Goods
- 425 Wholesale Electronic Markets and
- Agents Brokers
- 511, 512, 519 Publishing
- 562 Hazardous Waste
- Federal Facilities
The EPA states, in general, chemicals covered by the TRI Program are those that cause one or more of the following:
- Cancer or other chronic human health effects (long term)
- Significant adverse acute human health effects (short term)
- Significant adverse environmental effects
What are the basic thresholds criteria?
You must submit a report for any EPCRA Section 313 chemical that is not listed as a PBT chemical and which is:
- Manufactured in excess of 25,000 pounds over the calendar year
- Processed in excess of 25,000 pounds over the calendar year; or
- Otherwise used in excess of 10,000 pounds over the calendar year.
The EPA established lower thresholds for certain chemicals and chemical categories:
- Persistent, Bioaccumulative & Toxic Chemicals (PBTs): either 10 or 100 pounds per year (except for Dioxin), depending on the PBT chemical. For example:
- Lead and lead compounds: 100 pounds per year
- Mercury and mercury compounds: 10 pounds per year
- Dioxins: 0.1 gram per year
Regulatory requirements: Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
OSHA defines Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly known as MSDSs or Material Safety Data Sheets, as documentation used for each hazardous chemical to communicate information on these hazards. The information contained in the SDS is largely the same as the MSDS, except now the SDSs are required to be presented in a consistent, user-friendly, 16-section format.
The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical.
Electronic Form R Reporting
EPA Software is available from US EPA, TRI Web Site (called “TRI-ME”) • https://www.epa.gov/toxics-releaseinventory-tri-program/electronicsubmission-tri-reporting-forms
TRI-ME software has built-in QA/QC scripts to minimize reporting errors. The EPA has some fantastic online tutorials available to help guide a new user through the process. We highly recommend you look into this as a resource. The due date is July 1st, so e-filing is preferable. Always get a receipt or print screen your filing confirmation.
Where do I begin?
Check to see if previous EPA Form R Reports have been filed. This is a good reference point to begin. If this is your first time, we strongly recommend attending the EPA online
tutorial. Check https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/forms/tri-program-contacts for details. Develop a comprehensive Chemical Inventory Management System and Production Throughput Inventory Schedule. Having detailed records of what is being produced in your facility is very important.
We can help!
Catamount Consulting is a national safety training and consulting firm providing comprehensive on and off-site training in all facets of MSHA, OSHA, and Firearms safety.
Our education courses and services are customized to meet clients’ needs and help achieve optimum health, safety, and human performance. Special thanks to Joe Keenan, MBA, CSP, for his expertise on EPCRA SARA 313 Form R Reporting. To view the webinar, click here. The Access Passcode is z88^@upi.
Contact us to learn more about our educational webinars or speak with a team member.