The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA, 1986) implemented two chemical reporting programs for emergency planning and “community right-to-know” reporting on hazardous and toxic chemicals:
- Hazardous chemical inventory reporting
- Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
EPCRA uses several standards defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to establish reporting thresholds under the hazardous chemical inventory reporting and TRI programs.
Hazardous chemical inventory reporting is established under EPCRA Sections 311 and 312. Section 311 requires facilities to submit their Material Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or a list of chemicals held at or above certain threshold quantities within three months after first becoming subject to the reporting requirements. A revised SDS or list of these chemicals must be submitted if significant new information is discovered about the hazardous chemical. Section 312 requires facilities to submit a Tier 2 inventory form annually by March 1st for hazardous chemicals or extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) held at or above certain threshold quantities that are present at the facility at any one time during the calendar year. Guidance for submitting Tier 2 reports is outlined in the Tier 2 Chemical Inventory Program.
The TRI is a chemical release resource established under EPCRA Section 313 that tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. U.S. facilities in different industry sectors must report annually by July 1st to EPA how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery, and treatment. (A “release” of a chemical means that it is emitted to the air or water, or placed in some type of land disposal.) The information submitted by facilities is compiled in the TRI. The TRI helps support informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the public. To learn more, see the EPA Toxics Release Inventory Program.
Although specific permits are not issued in order to report for hazardous chemicals, the topic is discussed in this Permit Wizard because facilities must submit the Tier 2 report to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC; Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Environmental Response and Remediation) or Tribal Emergency Response Commission (TERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) or Tribal Emergency Planning Committee (TEPC), and the local fire department annually, and facilities must submit the TRI report to the EPA annually.
For more information on EPCRA, you can review the EPA EPCRA Fact Sheets.