Author: Bob LaRosa

Deadline for Submission of EPCRA Tier II Forms is March 1

Deadline for Submission of EPCRA Tier II Forms is March 1 March 1 is the deadline for submission of EPCRA Tier II forms.

If you have hazardous chemicals at your facility that mandate a Safety Data Sheet (SDS), you may need to submit Tier II forms under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Only chemicals that are in excess of established thresholds need to be reported.

The reporting thresholds are:

  • Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs): 500 pounds or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower. (EHSs and their TPQs are listed in 40 CFR part 355, Appendix A and Appendix B).
  • All other hazardous chemicals required to have an SDS: 10,000 pounds

Here is the TPQ for some common chemicals found at Bureau of Land Management facilities:

  • 80 lead-acid backup batteries (sulfuric acid is an EHS)
  • 3,000 gallons of propane
  • 1,562 gallons of heating oil
  • 820 gallons of retardant
  • 2,000 gallons of gasoline

If your facility has hazardous chemicals present at any one time during the year in quantities equal to or greater than threshold levels, you need to submit Tier II forms March 1 each year regarding information on hazardous chemicals present the previous year.

Generally, send the completed Tier II form to each of the following organizations: State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and the fire department with jurisdiction over your facility.

Some states may have specific requirements for reporting and submission of the Tier II inventory form and/or the state reporting form or format.

Chemicals that must be reported include:

  • Battery Acid
  • Diesel Fuel
  • Fuel Oil
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Natural Gas
  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen
  • Road Salt
  • Sawdust
  • Transformer Oils
  • Windshield Washer Fluid


Bob LaRosa, PE, is a professional environmental engineer with more than 30 years of experience. He has assisted Federal and private clients with a variety of environmental support projects, including multimedia compliance auditing, EH&S training and curriculum development, SPCC plan development, hazardous materials and hazardous waste management plan development, water system management plan development and implementation, and ESAs.

Goodbye, paper manifests!

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hazardous waste manifest system is designed to track hazardous waste from the time it leaves the generator facility where it was produced, until it reaches the off-site waste management facility that will store, treat or dispose of the hazardous waste. In 2014, the EPA established a national system for tracking hazardous waste shipments electronically. This system, known as “e-Manifest,” is intended to modernize the nation’s cradle-to-grave hazardous waste tracking process while saving valuable time, resources, and dollars for industry and states. EPA launched e-Manifest on June 30, 2018, along with user fees to offset the cost of the EPA developing the electronic manifest.

There are a few changes in the way that electronic manifests are prepared from the traditional paper manifest system.  Let’s review some of the updates.

  1. e-Manifests may now be prepared by the Treatment, Storage or Disposal Facility (TSDF). Under the RCRA Regulations (40 CFR 172.205(b) the generator of the hazardous waste is required to prepare the manifest.  Now, the TSDF can initiate the process using the e-Manifest.  In practicality, the TSDF (or a hazardous waste broker) prepared the paper manifest.
  2. The paper manifest is now only 5 pages, instead of 6. (I remember the original manifests were 8 pages, with carbon paper). 6 copies were necessary so that all parties (generator, transporter and TSDF) involved in the transaction received a copy.  Additionally, both the generator and TSDF sent a copy to the generator’s state environmental agency (if required), and the TSDF mailed a copy back to the generator.  This was changed by the EPA to reflect the new requirement that manifest is now only sent to the EPA.  The EPA will electronically distribute the manifest to the state agency.
  3. If a paper manifest is used, the receiving facility must submit the manifest to EPA within 30 days of receipt. Receiving facilities have several options for submitting paper manifests to EPA, including mailing in paper manifests, sending a scanned image of a paper manifest or submission of image and data files via e-Manifest. The generator will no longer receive a copy from the TSDF.
  4. EPA will charge receiving facilities a fee for each manifest submitted. Fees are differentiated based on how the manifest is submitted. These fees range from $5 for an e-Manifest to $15 for a paper manifest mailed to the EPA.
  5. Generators of hazardous waste will need a Generator ID Number, even Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQG).

These are just a few of the changes taking place as the EPA moves towards an electronic hazardous waste manifest system. Generators of hazardous waste should do the following as soon as practical:

  1. Generators must have an EPA ID number to use e-Manifest. Generators may submit EPA form 8700-12 to obtain an EPA ID Number from their RCRA-authorized state or EPA Region. The form can be found on RCRAInfo Web. In some states, generators may submit this form electronically.
  2. For generators who already have an EPA ID Number, your previously submitted information (e.g., contact information) needs to be up-to-date. Check your information on RCRAInfo.
  3. Register with e-Manifest instructions are be available at: Generators need to register with e-Manifest only if they will view, create, and/or sign manifests electronically or make corrections to manifests.

Some of the benefits to the e-Manifest system include:

  1. Higher quality and more timely data while saving time and resources for industry and states
  2. Cost savings
  3. Accurate and more timely information on waste handling
  4. Rapid notification of discrepancies or other problems related to a shipment
  5. One-stop reporting of data to EPA and the states through a single hub
  6. Increased effectiveness of monitoring of waste shipments by regulators
  7. Potential for integrating manifest reporting with other federal and state information systems


For more information on EPA’s e-Manifest Program and frequently asked questions go to

New Hazardous Waste Requirements, and Flexibility

One of the biggest environmental regulations that we deal with every day is the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  Passed in 1976, RCRA is as a solid waste disposal law that addresses the management of both solid waste and hazardous waste. The implementing regulations took effect in 1980.  RCRA was intended to be implemented by the individual states. Every state but Alaska and Iowa have received authorization from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement RCRA (The EPA implements RCRA in AK and IA). When the EPA authorizes a state to implement RCRA, it means that the state-level agency enforces the state-level laws and regulations in the jurisdiction of that state, not the EPA.

Various amendments to the regulations have been made over the past 30 plus years; however, these amendments did not correct some deficiencies in the rule nor did they provide any flexibility for generators of hazardous waste.  This changed in 2015 when the EPA proposed revisions to the hazardous waste generator regulations by making them easier to understand and providing greater flexibility in how hazardous waste is managed to better fit today’s business operations.  These revisions are commonly referred to as the Generator Improvements Rule (GIR).  It was signed by the former EPA Administrator on October 28, 2016, published in the Federal Register on November 20, 2016 (81 FR 85808), and effective on May 30, 2017.

The GIR contains three kinds of rule changes:

  1. New reliefs, such as the new relief for episodic generation and others.
  2. New, more stringent requirements like those for Satellite Accumulation Areas, contingency planning, and container markings.
  3. Non-substantive and re-organization changes: Many of the provisions do not change the day-to-day requirements but do change where the rule is found in 40 CFR or how it is formatted.

The rule was effective immediately in Alaska, Iowa, Puerto Rico, and the US Territories (US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Marianas, Guam).  It also went into effect in New Jersey and Pennsylvania due to the way these states incorporate updates to the Federal RCRA rules into their State programs. The major changes in the Generator Improvements Rule will take effect immediately in those two states.

Authorized states will have to adopt the more stringent provisions, by July 1, 2018 (or July 1, 2019 if state law change is needed).  Currently (as of July 9, 2018) the rule has been adopted by the following additional states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

For more details about the rule, please visit the EPA’s Generator Improvements Rule page.

Robert A. (Bob) LaRosa, P.E. is an experienced environmental professional  with over  30 years’ experience in the EH&S field in various field level, supervisory, and management positions. As a consulting engineer he has worked with clients in the manufacturing, chemical, petroleum, transportation, telecommunication, food and pharmaceutical industries to improve their environmental, health and safety programs and performance.  He is a registered professional engineer in several states and serves as both an AARCHER consultant and instructor for the Aarcher Institute of Environmental Training.  He can be reached at [email protected].

No Chemical Spill Plans, For now…

In case you missed it, on June 15, (now former) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed action to establish no additional regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA) section 311(j)(1)(C) authority for CWA hazardous substances (HS) discharge prevention. The EPA published the Notice of Propose Rulemaking (NPRM) on June 25, 2018 (83 FR 29499). This action was commonly referred to as a “Chemical Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan”.

This is a mixed bag.  There certainly is relief that industrial facilities with hazardous chemical storage tanks will not be required to develop these new plans (at least for the foreseeable future).  It is also a relief that the EPA did not rush a rule to placate environmental groups.  However, it still does boggle the mind the EPA does not require any proactive spill control plans for hazardous substances other than oil.

In July 2015, The Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) and People Concerned About Chemical Safety (PCACS), joined by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), sued the EPA, citing its decades-long failure to prevent and contain the discharge of dangerous chemicals from thousands of industrial facilities around the country. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, asks the court to require EPA to issue regulations to prevent hazardous substance spills from non-transportation related industrial facilities, including above-ground storage tanks. Although Congress mandated that the EPA issue these regulations “as soon as possible” in 1972, the agency has never done so. On February 16, 2016, the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Consent Decree that required EPA to sign a notice of proposed rulemaking pertaining to the issuance of hazardous substance regulations. The Consent Decree also requires the EPA to take final action after notice and comment on said notice.

As a result of the Consent Decree, the EPA held three public meetings in 2016 to gain early input from stakeholders. The EPA also conducted information requests in 2017 to further develop the regulatory action.

In the preamble to the proposed no action, the EPA presented data based on an analysis of all calls of CWA HS discharges reported to the National Response Center (NRC) over a 10-year period to estimate the frequency of CWA HS discharges to better understand the impacts of these potential discharges to the communities affected.  EPA determined that out of 285,867 releases reported to the NRC, less than 1% (2,491) involved substances included as CWA HS from non-transportation related facilities.  Further dissection of the data indicated that 117 of these releases resulted in impacts to water supplies or resulted in waterway closures, evacuations, injuries, hospitalizations, and/or fatalities. Over 80% of these releases contained the following chemicals: Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Sulfuric Acid (>80%), Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonia, Benzene, Hydrochloric Acid, Chlorine (liquid), Sodium Hypochlorite, Toluene, Phosphoric Acid, Styrene, Nitric Acid (fuming), and Potassium Hydroxide.

The EPA also looked at existing requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) including the OSHA General Duty Clause, Process Safety Management (PSM), Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), Hazard Communication Standard and Emergency Action Plans(EAPs), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and other EPA regulations.  Specifically, the EPA regulations reviewed included: NPDES Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for Industrial Stormwater, Risk Management Plans under the Clean Air Act, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plans, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements for generators of hazardous waste and treatment storage and disposal facilities, and the RCRA requirements for underground storage tanks (USTs) and under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) for emergency planning, chemical release reporting, and chemical inventory storage reporting.

The analysis indicates that there are existing cumulative EPA regulatory requirements under various programs for accident and discharge prevention relevant to CWA HS. Similarly, existing cumulative requirements under Federal regulatory programs administered by other Federal agencies and departments (i.e., OSHA, MSHA, PHMSA, and OSMRE) reflect, under various accident and discharge prevention programs.

While this analysis indicated there are existing regulatory programs that reflect some aspects of an effective chemical spill prevention plan, there is no current or proposed rule that spells out specific requirements.  This leaves industry to fill in the blanks and guess what the EPA would consider appropriate measures.  Now this really won’t matter to most industries, UNTIL, they have a release.

In light of the lack of any new regulations regarding chemical spill prevention, it’s important to focus on proactive planning and prevention measures, in particular the development of a proactive management program. By focusing on a proactive spill management approach, you can reduce costs and limit potential liability following environmental releases of hazardous materials, fuel and other regulated materials. The key to implementing an effective spill prevention plan is having an accurate chemical inventory with locations in excess of reportable quantities, a preventive maintenance and inspection program and a well-trained team.

Robert A. (Bob) LaRosa, P.E. is an experienced environmental professional  with over  30 years’ experience in the EH&S field in various field level, supervisory, and management positions. He is a senior staff member with AARCHER and has worked with clients in the manufacturing, chemical, petroleum, transportation, telecommunication, food and pharmaceutical industries to improve their environmental, health and safety programs and performance.  He is a registered professional engineer in several states and serves as both an AARCHER consultant and instructor for the Aarcher Institute of Environmental Training.  He can be reached at [email protected].