Each business or agricultural facility that maintains over specified amounts of a hazardous substance in inventory that is classified as a hazardous substance by federal standards is required to report that to certain agencies. The reports are called Tier Two reports and they are due prior to March 1st of each year. These reports list the chemical name, amounts stored, storage information, and the hazards associated with the specific substance.
This information is sent to the local fire department serving the facility, the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the State Emergency Response Commission. The information on the report is then reviewed by the agencies to assure that their response plans cover any threats that may arise from these hazards and that proper resources are maintained to respond to an emergency situation involving these substances.
Certain chemicals that can do excessive harm to public safety and the environment are listed as Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS's). EHS's are given lower reporting amounts called Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQ's) which require reporting for amounts as low as 10 pounds up to 500 pounds or more of these chemicals.
Also, download a PDF copy of VEM's Tier II FAQ
- How can I get help with compliance requirements?
If you operate a business in Vermont free assistance on all your compliance needs under SARA Title III is available from the Haz-Mat Compliance Office of Vermont Emergency Management. You can also contact ACEPC weekdays at 388-3141. This website provides links to VEM resources and downloadable forms are at the bottom of this page.
- What if there is an accident, how do I report it?
Use 9-1-1 to make the report, even if a full response from the HAZMAT Team and Fire Department are not needed. 9-1-1 Dispatchers are trained to take the information and make the proper notifications based on the type of material and the element into which it was released.
For a small spill that has been contained and presents no public or environmental hazard you may just have a visit from a HAZMAT representative. If the spill is large or a threat to the public and/or the environment a full response will be sent to assist you in clean up.
Facility operators are required by local, state and federal law to notify proper authorities. On the local level they should call 9-1-1 and make the report. In certain cases Federal notification will have to be made through the National Response Center. Non-reporting can result in criminal charges and/or huge fines, some as high as $25,000 per day. If you are in doubt, report it.
- What should my facility plan include?
Each facility that maintains, produces, or transports hazardous materials should have a written emergency plan that is known to all employees. They should know who must be notified, and take steps to do so, even if they can not reach management personnel. Failure to make notifications in a timely manner can result in large fines to the owner/operator of a facility or vehicle. The ACEPC can assist you in preparing your plan, free of charge. Call 388-3141.
- When is a written report required?
Under SARA Title III certain releases require written reports to VEM, VT Agency of Agriculture, and/or to the EPA. Failure to file these reports can result in fines up to $25,000 per day of non -compliance.
- What part of a HS/EHS mixture counts toward reporting requirements?
When EHS is part of a mixture, only the EHS part counts toward the requirements. See below for more.
- How are chemicals listed on an MSDS?
An MSDS will list chemicals in one of two ways, either as a Hazardous Substance or an Extremely Hazardous Substance. More info below.
When EHS is part of a mixture, only the EHS part of the mix counts toward reporting requirements. For example, if you have a product that is 50% ammonia, which has a TPQ of 500 pounds, you must have 1,000 pounds or more of the product on hand before you have to report. Mixture and percentage information can be obtained from the product label or the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). If you can not obtain the mixture percentage from the label or the MSDS, contact the manufacturer or report the mixture as a whole.
An MSDS will list chemicals in one of two ways, either as a Hazardous Substance or an Extremely Hazardous Substance. A Hazardous Substance is defined by OSHA under the Hazardous Communication Standard (HCS), which requires employers to keep MSDS's available at all times. Hazardous Substance classifications are constantly changing and there are an estimated 50,000 substances at this time. There is a link, above right column, to a PDF of the EPA’s “List of Lists,” a consolidated listing of substances.
SARA Title III, Section 302, requires facilities to notify local and state emergency planning agencies when they are subject to the law's emergency planning requirements. Many mid- to large-sized farms as well as some smaller farming facilities may be subject to this section (e.g. ammonia, paraquat, and pesticides). If you have any chemical on the EHS list at or above the designated amount or “Threshold Planning Quantity” (TPQ), you must notify the ACEPC and the VEM in writing. The only other time you must re-contact ACEPC and VEM is if an EHS chemical is added to or deleted from inventory. All changes should be reported within sixty (60) days of the addition or deletion. Farms are not required to develop emergency response plans for their facilities under the current requirements of SARA Title III. However, they may be required by insurance companies or under other OSHA regulations. If you require any assistance in preparing a plan, please call 388-3141.
In the 302 notification you must designate a coordinator to work with the LEPC and provide facility information when needed. Facility coordinators are encouraged to attend all Addison County Local Emergency Planning Committee meetings. Meetings are normally held on the last Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at the VSP barracks on Rte. 7 in New Haven.
Sara Title III, Section 304, covers emergency notification requirements when there is a release into the environment of any Hazardous or Extremely Hazardous Substance over the designated Reportable Quantity (RQ). If there is any danger of off site exposure YOU MUST REPORT THE INCIDENT.
When the amount of spillage is at or greater than the listed RQ and off-site exposure has, or has the potential to occur, you are required to start the reporting procedure.
The release of a pesticide registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), when used generally in accordance with its intended routine agricultural applications, according to approved product label instructions, is exempt from this reporting requirement, and also normal application of fertilizers. This exemption applies ONLY TO ON-SITE RELEASES.
When a covered release has occurred, YOU ARE REQUIRED TO CONTACT THE ACEPC IMMEDIATELY . 911 SHOULD ALWAYS BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE. BE PREPARED TO GIVE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
1. Name of chemical released.
2. If the chemical is a listed EHS.
3. Quantity released.
4. Date, time and duration of release.
5. Your name.
6. Environmental media affected (soil, air, or water).
7. Location of the release.
8. Number of injured or ill personnel, if any.
9. Number of contaminated personnel, if any.
DO NOT DELAY REPORTING AN INCIDENT:
If the release has the potential to cause illness, injury or damage on-site or off-site, do not hesitate to ask for assistance. Call 9-1-1 immediately and provide details to the Dispatcher as requested. 9-1-1 Dispatchers know who to contact. The National Response Center will have to be notified of the covered release. After the incident is under control, a written report has to be submitted to the ACEPC, VEM, and the National Response Center. This report should include:
1. Name of chemical released
2. If the chemical is a listed EHS
3. Quantity of chemical released
4. Date, time and duration of release
5. Person who provided initial verbal notification to the National Response Center
6. Identification of the environmental media into which the release occurred
7. Health risks (know or anticipated acute or chronic risks associated with the release)
8. Medical attention and information availability
9. Precautions that were taken to prevent a reoccurrence of a similar release
10. Further information that is relevant to the chemical release
If a fire should occur in an on-site farm or co-op storage containing EHS or hazardous chemicals, it can be reportable under Section 304. It is wise to submit a site plan to notify emergency responders of storage locations. If a storage area is involved in a fire, expect the firefighters to allow this fire to burn as hot as possible to consume the stored materials. Notification of storage areas can eliminate any “guess work” by emergency responders and assist in fire suppression activities.
Under SARA Title III, Section 311 and 312, Chemical Inventory Reporting, any chemical used in routine agricultural activities is exempt from reporting. If any inventory is maintained for non-agricultural uses, over the designated TPQ or 10,000 pounds, it must be reported to VEM, ACEPC, and the local fire department who responds to your facility.
- Always Report for Prior Year—The reporting year is always the year prior to the current year. Reports due by March 1, 2008 are for inventory during 2007.
- Don't Over Report—Report only those inventory items that were held at anyone time over the required reporting amount (10,000 pounds Non-EHS, or 500 pounds or the required Threshold Planning Quantity of a EHS). If you are not sure, contact Randy Bronson, Hazardous Materials Compliance Officer, VEM at 800.347.0488 . Use the proper codes and double check the coded amounts. You are reporting in pounds so all correspondence must match.
- Original Signature Required—All reports to all agencies must have an original signature of the facility representative. No stamps or copies. All signatures should be in blue ink to assist in the determination that the signature is original.
- No Post Office Listing—The facility address cannot be a post office box. You must provide a real street address for the location. In the owner/operator identification, the mailing address may be a post office box.
- Three Compliance Points—Mail the reports to the proper agencies by Certified Return Receipt. Reports should be mailed to the agencies indicated.
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On This Page
VEM's EPCRA page
Also see Businesses
• Reporting Decision Tree (PDF)
• Fee Flow Chart (PDF)
• Searchable EHS database; Info, first Aid (Web)
Email Reports to:
Use PDF format
• Electronic Reporting (Web)