EPA stepping up Tier 2 inspections

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The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) recently reported that EPA's Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota) is conducting the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know (EPCRA) Tier 2 chemical inventory reporting inspections at ag retail facilities. 

Inspectors will be looking for the following items while performing the audit:

  • Copy of your facility site plan
  • Diagram of your facility including the location of any hazardous materials
  • Copies of Tier 2 Reports
  • Invoices, inventory records, or other documents such as a list of chemicals and maximum quantities stored at any one given time for the past four years
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous chemicals used/stored at your facility

EPA inspectors also plan to interview employees who have knowledge regarding the use, manufacturing, production or storage of hazardous chemicals and intend to take pictures of any and all chemicals and quantities stored during the time of the inspection.

ARA believes it is highly likely other regions will conduct similar Tier 2 inspections. The increased inspections and enforcement activity by EPA, OSHA and other federal agencies is the result of the West Fertilizer explosion that occurred April 17, and follow-up to the Executive Order: Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security issued on August 1.

EPA can fine facilities tens of thousands of dollars per violation. ARA recommends members review your facilities Tier 2 reports for compliance and discrepancies.

In July 2012, the EPA published a final rule to revise Tier I and Tier II reporting forms, as well as the Confidential Location Information Sheet. The revisions add some new data elements and revise some existing data elements.

The rule becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2014. Facilities must comply with the new requirements on the Tier II inventory form starting reporting year 2013, which is due by March 1, 2014. Some states may have specific requirements for reporting and submission the Tier II inventory form and/or the state reporting form or format.

The EPA suggests that facilities contact their state for state specific reporting requirements.

Tier II Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form
Instructions to the Tier II Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form (PDF)
Confidential Location Information Form
State Tier II Reporting Requirements and Procedures

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